ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS (June 27, 2019) — Summer is a time to have fun, learn and grow and that’s exactly what campers at Kids on Campus are doing. The six-week summer camp is focused on keeping kids learning over the summer months while also providing them a glimpse into the college experience. The camp is organized by Spring Forward, led by students in Augustana’s teacher education program and supported by college faculty.

Five Augustana Students are leading the camp in its second summer. The student leaders welcome campers at Longfellow Elementary for breakfast then head to campus for activities that include robotics, coding, geocaching, and GIS. After morning activities, staff and campers head back to Longfellow for lunch, recreational time, literacy groups, and STEM activities. Fridays are spent on field trips around the Quad Cities for fun and enrichment.

Spring Forward Executive Director Dan McNeil says, “The partnership with Augustana College has been great for Spring Forward and our campers. The college students have been amazing teachers and mentors for our kids.”

The literacy groups are planned so campers keep up with reading over the summer months and also provide student leaders practical experience as they prepare for their teaching careers. The leaders use Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI), research supported curriculum used in the Rock Island-Milan School District, and at Spring Forward’s other five summer camp sites.

 According to Mike Scarlett, associate professor and chair of the Education Department at Augustana, “This program provides our students in the teacher education program with wonderful opportunities to work with kids, and to plan and implement their own lessons, which will get them ready for student teaching and beyond. It’s a real win-win situation for both the teachers and the kids.”

Recent Augustana graduate, Ashley Talken, helped launch the camp last summer, she says, “I loved seeing the campers interact and become friends with each other even though they went to different schools. The campers really enjoyed having the opportunity to do different activities at Augustana College every day because most had never spent time on a college campus before."

More About Spring Forward Summer Camps

Summer is critical when it comes to student success and knowing this Spring Forward is dedicated to summer learning. Spring Forward serves 300 children from the Rock Island-Milan School District at six different sites. All camps are provided at no cost to families.

Camps are designed to help children avoid the “summer slide” that occurs while they are out of school. Over the past four years, more than 90% of students attending camps have maintained or gained in reading levels over the summer. In addition, Spring Forward Camps provide a wide range of experiences to campers through enrichment visits from community partners taking many different field trips.

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