Gift helps ensure enriching summer activities for Athens County youngsters
May 10, 2007
By Jody Grenert
Kids on Campus will launch its 12th year of summer programming in June with the help of a $90,000 gift from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.
Kids on Campus is a partnership of Ohio University and community members that sponsors after-school and summer programming for children in Athens County. The program focuses on underserved children and their families, giving priority enrollment to children who are academically at-risk or qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches.
The summer program will run from June 18 to July 27 on the Ohio University campus, with more than 325 children between ages 5 and 16 expected in this year's program.
The gift from Chase, which has invested more than half a million dollars in the program over the past 10 years, will sponsor 175 children enrolled in the Chase Explorer and Adventure camps for 8- to 11-year-olds.
The Kids on Campus summer program, while offering recreational activities such as swimming and picnics, has an educational focus. Studies show that children's reading skills tend to regress during the summer, said Leslie Moss, Kids on Campus executive director. The summer program has typically enabled participating children to maintain or slightly improve their grade reading level.
"As the children are enjoying the activities offered in the program, they don't realize that they are actually learning while having fun," Moss said.
In addition to reading, this year's six-week program will delve into the arts, technology and science. The program also includes breakfast and lunch, bus transportation and free hearing and dental screenings.
"Kids on Campus combines active learning and healthy habits with good, old-fashioned summer fun," said Jeff Lyttle, who oversees Chase's Community Relations program in Ohio and across the Midwest. "For JPMorgan Chase, this is an investment with a history of high-quality returns for the kids, their families, Ohio University and the Athens County community."
In addition to Chase, other community members contributing to the summer program include the Athens County Department of Job and Family Services, Bob Evans Farms, Sisters of St. Joseph Charitable Fund, The Athens News and many individual donors. Funding from 21st Century Community Learning Centers also is provided to Kids on Campus through partnerships with the Athens City, Alexander and Federal Hocking Local School districts.
For more information about the summer program and Kids on Campus, go to www.ohiou.edu/kids