Ball State University’s Teachers College is committed to providing pre-service teaching candidates with immersive, real-world experiences within the surrounding community. Partnerships between community establishments, local schools, and higher education facilities promote advanced learning opportunities and professional growth. Summer Learning Fun at Camp Adventure (SLFCA) is a collaboration between Camp Adventure staff, local public and charter schools, K-5 children and their families, as well as Ball State Education candidates. This combined effort focuses on providing an enriching atmosphere for learning for Muncie area children while supporting novice teachers in their professional development.
Furthermore, research is clear on the loss of academic skills over the summer, in particular for children who do not have access to educational resources. Some sources site children’s academic performance level dropping one month behind where they were the previous spring. According to research published by The Wallace Foundation and RAND Education (2011), summer learning programs can actually minimize the educational gap and even increase academic achievement. SLFCA provides school systems with an additional option to traditional summer school and summer academic support for their children and families. SLFCA is considered to be a partner with neighboring school systems in combatting summer learning loss.
SLFCA has three top priorities: 1) providing a safe, structured, and active environment for Delaware County children during the summer; 2) providing well balanced, healthy nourishment for two meals and snacks each day; and 3) providing high-quality, engaging instruction for all participants. Summer Learning Fun is able to give children both a distinctive and exceptional learning experience in contrast to typical, high-cost summer camps that focus more on childcare rather than education. Experiences include not only academics, but children take part in archery, low ropes courses, fishing, wagon rides, nature hikes, and cardiovascular activities.