TYLER, Texas —
As Rose City Summer Camps program wrap up their seventh week of activities, the organization is hoping to expand their reach.
The program, which is in its fourth year, will serve more then 1,200 campers this summer. However, there are only two current sites for the camps: Moore Middle School and Three Lakes Middle School, both in Tyler.
Next year, the program hopes to expand to two more sites next year. While the program did not reveal the two additional sites being considered, the expansion is essential to its goal of serving more children in the Tyler-area.
Rose City Summer Camps average more than 500 kids per week. If expanded, the organization says weekly attendance could double.
The Rose City Summer Camps aims to prevent kids between kindergarten and sixth grade from getting into the "summer slide" mindset and continue their focus on academics.
The program provides Tyler ISD students a variety of activities both indoors and outdoors.
"We're very active,” Matthew Honeycutt, Director of Rose City Summer Camps, said. “We like to have fun. As you can hear out there, it's crazy. We want to provide an opportunity to provide structure, but a fun place to come."
The camp is run by 140 staffers from across the state. Each day, the kids received two 45 minute academic classes taught by Tyler ISD teachers.
"Typically they are more prepared and more ready to start on the very first day of school,” Laurie Wells, Program Administrator for Rose City Summer Camps said.
According to Wells, test results show students who attend the camp for at least eight weeks begin the school year in a better place than students who do not.
The Rose City Summer Camps program also focuses on students who are behind in reading through one-on-one interventions. The program implemented the strategy last year.
Wells says their data shows the strategy paid off.
“By the time they leave Rose City Summer Camp, they're actually on level, and often times ahead of where they should be when they start the class,” Wells said.
There are three weeks left for this year's camps.
The program costs $129 per week, however, financial assistance and transportation is available to those that need it.