Camp aims to curb summer learning loss for low income students

BY Raven Santana, Correspondent |

Some students lose much of what they learn during the school year during summer vacation.

A 2013 meta-analysis of research on summer reading programs efficacy indicates that low income students see a significant benefit in summer reading comprehension programs compared to their higher income peers.

The nonprofit Rise runs a summer camp for students from low-income families in Hightstown and East Windsor. The camp is focused on preparing students for the first day of school throughout the summer.

The camp provides a safe learning environment, and two meals each day — lessening the load for overburdened parents.

Attendees, who rage from age 5 to 15, are referred to as “scholars,” not campers. Once the scholars become teens, they are promoted to leadership roles that involve teaching and assisting counselors.

The camp’s director, Efrain Monterosso, has been working at the camp for 5 years. He’s one of a dozen other staff members that were once campers themselves.

All of Rise’s programs, including the summer camp, are funded through federal grants and local and private donations. The 6-week camp costs about $649 and runs from July 1 through Aug. 9.