Brings together diverse Twin Cities youth to promote lifelong learning, healthy lifestyle choices, and access to higher education.
Since 1991, the NYSP has brought together more than 300 Twin Cities youth every summer, ages 5 to 16, for a summer of learning and fun. More than 70 percent of participants are from communities of color and more than 90 percent are from low-income households. The day camp’s activities, including transportation, breakfast, lunch, academic and athletic programming, are provided at no cost to the participants or their families.
Each student receives four hours of daily academic and athletic instruction from licensed teachers, which helps keep study skills fresh, coursework current, and provides helpful college preparation and career-planning classes. Also, as a certified Alternative Learning Center, participants are eligible to earn one academic credit and one athletic credit at their schools. Over 87 percent of families reported in summer 2012 that the NYSP helped their child either catch up in school or get a head start on the upcoming year. This feedback is confirmed by pre-camp and post-camp testing, which found a 10 percent increase in standardized test scores. Additionally, 47 percent of 2012 campers said that being in the program helps make them a better person and 92 percent said the NYSP classes help them become better students. Overall, 90 percent said they look forward to coming each day.
In fact, one camper said that NYSP “is the best part of my summer.”
Another said that it “helps me remember what I learn in school and I learn new things.”
In order provide high-quality academic enrichment to keep the kids moving forward to the next school year as well as to provide access to higher educational opportunities, the camp is overseen by the University of St. Thomas School of Education and works in partnership with the St. Paul and Minneapolis School Districts and the East Metro Integration District. The need for the unique opportunity provided by the NYSP is growing. Despite increasing capacity this summer, we still had to turn away 60 students and may have to turn even more away next year if current trends continue. As we look at summer 2013, we are exploring ways to better meet the community’s increasing needs. Especially given the economic challenges that families are facing, now more than ever, families need a safe and supervised place where their children can go during the long summer months and receive healthy meals. They also need help guiding their children’s education and physical well being, particularly in regard to healthy food choices and promoting active lifestyles. Since the majority of the campers are from minority communities and low-income households, they have an increased likelihood for obesity and weight-related health problems. The 2013 NYSP is tentatively scheduled for June 17th through August 9th.
Please join us in helping to cultivate the minds and bodies of our campers through emphasizing good physical health and positive academic performance so that, together, we can help kids reach beyond the urban challenges to make long-term healthy and positive decisions.