Combating Summer Learning Loss, One KCC at a Time

As we approach the beginning of summer, it’s important to learn how to combat summer learning loss and understand the impact it has on our children's future success.

KCC Volunteer
Kindergarten Countdown Camp Volunteer, Edna Galvan, works with children on an activity to identify their shapes and colors.

Over the course of the summer, idle, low-income students lose two to three months’ worth of reading skills compared to students who are non-low-income. Without access to summer learning programs, the chance of low-income students recovering from this disparity is minimal. The National Summer Learning Association describes this trend as “summer learning loss”, the phenomenon where young people lose academic skills over the summer. This is one of the most significant causes of the achievement gap between lower and higher income youth and one of the strongest contributors to the high school dropout rate. For many young people, the summer “opportunity gap” adds to the gap in achievement, employment and college/career success affecting their future endeavors (“Home”).

To address the summer learning loss, United Way developed Kindergarten Countdown Camp (KCC), an initiative, under our Success By 6 Program, designed to bridge the gap for Lake County’s youngest learners.

Here’s how it works:

  • The free camps are open to incoming kindergartners with little to no preschool experience nor been in a classroom setting.
  • At KCC, licensed teachers focus on teaching children the basic skills needed for Kindergarten, such as knowing their letters, numbers and how to write their name. Children will learn the routine of school, develop new skills, meet new friends and realize they can succeed in a school setting.

This program helps to ease the gap between academic readiness for low-income students and non-low-income students over the summer.

Thanks to the support of our donors and partners, we’ve expanded Kindergarten Countdown Camp into four communities with plans to reach 150 children.

KCC will take place at:

  • Green Bay Early Childhood Center in North Chicago
  • Clearview Elementary in Waukegan
  • Beach Park Middle School in Beach Park
  • Pleviak Elementary in Round Lake

Preventing summer learning loss is a considerable factor in ensuring all Lake County children are on a pathway to future success. We look forward to sharing updates about each Kindergarten Countdown Camp this summer. Stay tuned!


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