Community Partners Step Up to Continue Kindergarten Camp
Springfield’s banking community along with several private donors stepped up to continue Community Partnership of the Ozarks’ Kindergarten Camp when the program was in jeopardy due to a lack of funding. Kindergarten Camp was previously funded through federal and community grants which expired this year.
Community Partnership is pleased to announce that nearly $10,000 in contributions has been received to set the program back on track and serve more kids in the next year. Partners include Empire Bank, Liberty Bank, Commerce Bank, The Bank of Missouri, Springfield First Community Bank and private donations by The Charlie and Mary Beth O’Reilly Family Foundation and others.
“Kindergarten Camp helps prepare kids for school and is a wise investment for our community. By giving a kid a chance today, we can make a difference in our community for years to come. I am grateful to the other community banks working together to help make Kindergarten Camp possible,” said Russ Marquart, President and CEO of Empire Bank and Community Partnership board member.
Just a $40 investment gives an at-risk child the chance to attend Kindergarten Camp for a full week. If you increase that to an $800 investment, 15 to 20 kids get the same opportunity.
Kindergarten Camp is a week-long experience for young children before they enter kindergarten. Oftentimes, the children who attend have had no other out-of-home experiences such as child care or preschool. They are sometimes not adequately prepared for the first day of school. They lag behind their peers in the academic and social skills necessary to succeed in school.
“This is the first time some children may ever have to stand in line or have to wait their turn. They see a lot of new skills and they get to practice those skills before the first day of class,” said Dana Carroll who founded Kindergarten Camp.
Although Kindergarten Camp alone cannot prepare a child for school, it does bring awareness of the expectations and skills that they will need. In fact, 80% of children attending show marked improvement in school readiness indicators after the camp.
Learn more and watch our video on our Kindergarten Camp program page.