Summer Reading Camp Program - Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation
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Summer Reading Camp Program

Children’s literacy is the foundation for preventing poverty, improving health, and building strong economies. Simply put, helping a child learn to read will change his or her future and the future of our communities.

Helping children become readers for life, particularly those who struggle to meet grade-level reading, is a key priority for the Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation. Providing learning opportunities for children over the summer months when school is out of session is especially important. According to research, student learning can regress by as much as two months over the summer due to limited access to books, an effect educators call summer slide. Summer slide is particularly pronounced in children from low-income families and has been shown to have a cumulative impact. Over time, the loss in learning can result in significant achievement gaps and contribute directly to decreases in graduation rates and post-secondary schooling.

But there is good news. Summer slide is both predictable and preventable. The solution is simple: if children continue learning over the summer months, they are less likely to experience summer slide and better prepared to begin school with confidence in their abilities.

About Summer Reading Camp

Summer Reading Camp is a Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation initiative to promote children’s literacy and prevent learning loss over the summer months. The camp is a two-week program targeted to children in grades one to three who require additional support to reach grade-level reading. Each summer more than 300 children have the opportunity to participate in one of many camp sites located at a nearby school. Incredibly, more than 70% of children taking part in the camp experience no loss of learning, with many also showing gains.

“The nutrition program helps me get energy and if I don’t have a snack or lunch, there is one for me. It also helps me do good in school and helps me in gym class. I think the nutrition program is great”

Emma Thompson, Age 7
Student at Tommy Douglas Public School

Program Structure

Our Summer Reading Camps utilize an inquiry-based approach to instruction that encourages students to be active and curious learners. Camp instructors are recruited from among Saskatoon Public Schools teachers and all have extensive experience with children’s literacy. A mathematics component is also included at several camps. Camps also offer students nutritious snacks and special activities.


Experienced educational consultants have developed a robust evaluation plan to ensure the highest quality of education is targeted to the children who need it most. Information collected includes student reading scores from before and after summer holidays in order to obtain a reliable measurement of learning progress. Because numbers alone do not tell the full story, anecdotal information, such as testimonials and stories from children, families and instructors is also gathered.

Opportunities for Support

Summer Reading Camp is supported entirely by generous donations from individuals, organizations and businesses.

The total cost for the program is $87,000 or approximately $300/student.

Instructor training and salaries$ 50,000
Student nutrition$ 20,000
Instructional Resources and materials$ 11,000
Certificate and book for each student$ 4,000
Activities and Student supplies$ 2,000
Total Expenses$ 87,000
Based on 300 students