(The Center Square) – Arizona will have a state-run program that will allow students to learn over the summer, Governor Doug Ducey announced on Wednesday this week.
The AZ OnTrack Summer Camp program will spend $100 million to combat learning loss caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Lisa Graham Keegan, who served as the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1995 to 2001, will lead the initiative.
“The AZ OnTrack Summer Camp will help our kids reach their full potential and having an education pioneer like Lisa Graham Keegan at the helm will help achieve this goal,” Ducey said in a press release. “Lisa and I want all our kids to know that this is far more than just summer school. It’s camp with a purpose. It’ll have activities, games, peer learning and so much more.”
Ducey’s office says that Keegan is “a passionate advocate for educational excellence in Arizona and a champion of school choice.”
The AZ OnTrack program will be eight weeks long. Ducey’s office says it “will provide students with a positive, innovative atmosphere where they can get caught up.”
“This is not the time to have our children out of school for multiple weeks or months again,” Keegan said in the press release. “They need each other, and they deserve experiences that reconnect them with the joys of learning. We all learned how much we value the beauty of a great school, a great youth camp, and of our children being together. This summer offers that again, and I am so grateful to the Governor for making sure that the children who need this the most will have these opportunities.”
School districts and communities across the state can host these camps if they’re interested.
“This camp wouldn’t be possible without our hard-working teachers and staff, so we’re making sure they benefit too,” Ducey said in the press release. “We’ll be asking the State Board to offer teachers credits toward certification renewal for participating in the camp.”
According to the Governor’s office, the program will cost at least $100 million.
Most of the camps will start in June – after the regular school year ends.
More information on the program is available at ontrack.az.gov.