Grants Provide Summer Learning and Fun

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Press Release

BISMARCK, N.D., May 23, 2022 – State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler announced Monday that the Department of Public Instruction has awarded $200,000 in grants to 11 summer learning programs across the state.

The programs will provide everything from reading and mathematics classes to instruction in computer coding, robotics, engineering, music, and theater. Some will offer outdoor activities, including rock climbing and hiking. The money is coming from the Department of Public Instruction’s share of federal education grants that are targeted at COVID-19 student learning recovery.

“Many of our North Dakota schools already offer summer academic programs that help students avoid the ‘summer slide’ in their learning, or allow them to get extra instruction in certain subjects,” Baesler said. “These grants will help expand these programs and make them more widely available.”

“These grants were not restricted to school districts,” Baesler continued. “Some nonprofit organizations that provide summer programs to our North Dakota students and their families also received help.”

Grants were limited to $20,000 per organization. Amounts awarded are listed below alongside the organization.

Summer Academic Program Grants

Bison Cyber Camp, North Dakota State University, Fargo ($20,000):  Computer science and cybersecurity classes for about 60 students in grades 10-12. The week-long camp will provide instruction on writing computer code, how to keep data and networks secure, how robotics help humans do daily tasks, and how artificial intelligence is built into many common gadgets.

Central Cass Summer Squirrel Learning Camp, Casselton ($20,000): Four weeks of academic camp, beginning in late July, with three hours of daily instruction in reading, writing, and mathematics for K-8 students. The program is intended to prevent the “summer slide” in learning, and to make up for potential learning loss that is linked to COVID-19.

Haley’s Hope Dyslexia Learning Center, West Fargo ($20,000):  A three-week summer academy July 11-28 for students with dyslexia; 4 1/2 hours of reading and mathematics instruction daily for six students entering grades 4-6. The 2022 academy will be a pilot project to test the program’s curricula and gather information from students and families. In the summer of 2023, the program will be expanded to 18 students and possibly include more grade levels.

International Music Camp, Dunseith ($20,000): Six one-week residential fine arts and music camps for participants in grades 5-12. Programs run from June 19 through Aug. 2 and include band, choir, drama, digital photography, creative writing, drama, ballet and modern dance, jazz, fiddle, orchestra, harp, sculpture, painting, and cartooning. The camp is held at the International Peace Garden, which straddles the U.S.-Canada border in north-central North Dakota.

James Sheyenne Valley Cooperative Summer Learning ($20,000): This is a consortium made up of the Valley City, Griggs County Central (Cooperstown), and Edgeley public schools, with students ranging from kindergarten through grade six. Instruction includes the STEAM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics); literacy and life skills; field trips to local businesses, parks, and museums; and participation in children’s theater.

North Dakota Gateway to Science, Bismarck ($20,000): Eleven weeks of summer camp for students entering grades 1-5 and three weeks for those entering grades 6-9. Camps include instruction in computer coding, construction and engineering design, and crafting inventions.

North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind ($5,000): A summer program June 4-7 for visually impaired middle school students at Lake Metigoshe, near Bottineau. It includes rock climbing, hiking, and visiting Annie’s House in Bottineau, which offers facilities for students who have visual and other impairments.

Pembina Gorge Foundation, Walhalla ($20,000): A week-long arts day camp for students in grades 3-12, to be held at Frost Fire Park, seven miles west of Walhalla in the northeastern corner of North Dakota. The camp will be held Aug. 1-5, with students provided three hours’ each of visual and performing arts instruction. Organizers expect 65 students to attend.

South Sudanese Foundation of Fargo-Moorhead, Minn. ($20,000): Half-day instructional summer camps in reading, writing, and mathematics for students entering grades K-12 from June 3 to July 22. The grant budget covers two years of summer instructional offerings. The foundation estimates it will serve about 300 students.

Turtle Mountain Community School, Belcourt ($20,000): The school hosts a Belcourt Youth Activities Program during the month of June and the first week of July. Most attendees are 7 to 16 years old. Activities include cultural programming, health promotion, mathematics and science tutoring, career counseling, and sports. Past summer programs have drawn 120 to 160 students each day.

Valley City Jr/Sr High School STEAM Camp, Valley City ($15,000): Technology and Engineering Education and Art classes on Wednesday mornings for grades 7-12 throughout the summer. Included are ceramics, painting, wearable art, robotics, woodworking, and design.

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