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Camp KO Introduces Academic Prep Program

Camp KO will include an academic prep program for the summer of 2021. Pictured are students at Camp KO in a previous year. Courtesy photo

Camp KO is offering academic programs this August at its West Hartford campus.

Submitted by Jackie Pisani, Kingswood Oxford School

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many students learning and development over the past year. Additionally, it has exacerbated the opportunity gap that exists between low-income students and their more well-off peers.

To address parent concern over the loss of academic ground for their child, Camp KO is offering an Academic Prep program, Aug. 2-6 and/or Aug. 9-13 for children entering grades 3-9.

In 2014, The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving sent Kingswood Oxford a letter indicating that an anonymous donor was awarding scholarships for low-income Hartford students to participate in Camp KO. Since then, Camp KO has helped hundreds of Hartford area students to expand their horizons and develop new skills.

This year, the Hartford Foundation is giving 48 Hartford public school students (24 each week) the opportunity to attend Camp KO’s Academic Prep program to shore up their weak areas, introduce new concepts that they will see in the fall, and build self-esteem and confidence so the student is not afraid to tackle challenges. The other 48 spots (24 each week) will be open to the public and grouped by grade level: third grade; fourth and fifth grade; sixth and seventh grade; and eighth and ninth grade.

The program is designed to fully engage the student in a collaborative and fun environment while reinforcing skills. Classes are taught by faculty members of Kingswood Oxford. Full day (8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.) and half-day options 8:30-11:45 a.m. or 12:15-3:30 p.m.) are available. The fee ranges from $300 to $450 depending upon full or half-day options. Before and aftercare are available at an additional cost.

Camp KO has run sports, arts, and academics programs for eight years with great success, expanding its offerings each year with inventive, hands-on programs that pique a student’s interest. The Camp is still offering its varied program but added the academic prep component for this summer.

Camp Director Sheri Shea said, “I’ve heard from many local parents who felt that their child didn’t acclimate well to remote learning. Other parents have noted their concern about their child’s social transition back into school after missing out this past year. It’s a very understandable concern. My hope is that our intentionally designed academic program will provide students with what they need to be successful next year as well as give them an on-ramp into socializing and connecting again with their peers.”

Incoming third graders will focus on the core subjects of reading, math, science, and social studies to prepare them for the academic demands of third grade. All other grades will concentrate on core subjects of reading, writing, and math that engage critical thinking and problem-solving abilities to prepare students for more challenging work.

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