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Ducey to use summer camp as way for children to catch up in classroom

The governor said Lisa Graham Keegan will lead the camp that he hopes will get students caught up, develop confidence and reinvigorate teachers.

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey announced Wednesday he is investing $100 million to launch an eight-week summer camp intended to help students recover from the learning loss they experienced during the pandemic.

The governor said Lisa Graham Keegan will lead the "AZ OnTrack Summer Camp" that he hopes will get students caught up on math, reading, and civics, build confidence and reinvigorate teachers and students alike.

As superintendent of public instruction, Keegan was a member of the legendary Fab Five – the first time women were elected to all statewide leadership positions in U.S. history. Keegan also served as John McCain’s education advisor in his campaigns for president.  

"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 said.

The governor introduced the idea of the camp in his State of the State speech in January.

RELATED: 6 key takeaways from Ducey's 2022 State of State

“This is not the time to have our children out of school for multiple weeks or months again,” said Graham Keegan. “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.”

Ducey said schools and community organizations will host campsites throughout the state for families to catch their kids up for the fall. The hope is that together, these partners will work to overcome the academic and social losses that kids faced over the last two years.

Ducey said families will be able to sign their children in the next few weeks.

He also said the program would provide participating teachers and educators with best-in-class professional development opportunities and competitive compensation.

Ducey said most camps will start in June, but each program has flexibility for timing, programming, transportation and child care to best serve working families.

Schools and families who are interested can find more information at ontrack.az.gov.

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