Click here to download an application for the 2016-17 school year.
For more than 80 years, Austin Sunshine Camps has offered summer camp programs to youth from Central Texas. Through the years, as our budget and staff have grown, we’ve had the opportunity to expand our programming to include year round academic programs. We love these because they give us a chance to engage youth throughout the year. The halls of our building are too quiet without kids running through them for 9 months of each year. In 2013, we took a look at the academic programs we offered and felt like we were missing something. We thought we needed to return to our roots and do what we do best, in a new way. Our staff worked hard to design a program that would address the growing needs of the families we serve while keeping in mind the mission of Austin Sunshine Camps. ASC is dedicated to “engaging and empowering youth through education and outdoor experiences” which is why we’re excited to share our new program– Sunshine Afterschool!
Sunshine Afterschool is a program for middle school students who attend Fulmore and Martin middle schools in Austin ISD. The program brings 70 students to “camp” 5 days a week after school, on teacher in-service days and during spring break. Sunshine Afterschool engages youth in STEM, life skills and outdoor education to prepare them for the challenges of high school and beyond.
In-depth research conducted over a 10-year period by the Harvard Family Research Project suggests that sustained participation in well-structured programs and activities, often provided by out-of-school time nonprofits, help youth attain the knowledge and array of skills necessary for success in the 21st century. However, only 30% of school-aged children in Travis County have access to out of school programs – the most critical times of their lives.
Each day, Austin Sunshine Camps picks up students from school and brings them to camp. After a quick snack and homework time, students participate in activities. These activities are outdoors. They are designed to engage youth and ALL of their senses. Youth today spend so much time indoors and in front of electronics. We’ve carefully selected curriculum that teaches STEM, life skills and outdoor education in the outdoors.
Goals of the program include:
- Develop a sense of community
- Increase initiative and responsible decision making with regard to positive life choice
- Increase general STEM knowledge
- Increased enrollment and interest in STEM related courses, when possible
- Increased self confidence in tackling science projects
- Shift in attitude regarding STEM
- Increase participation in outdoor activities
- Increased knowledge of the importance of conservation
- Increase in outdoor skills and knowledge of outdoor equipment
- Increase in survival skills and problem solving
- Development of, and increase in, first aid knowledge and skills
Students eligible to participate in the program will:
- Attend Fulmore or Martin Middle School.
- Commit to attend Sunshine Afterschool at least 3 days per week.
- Qualify for free or reduced lunch.
- Show an interest in learning to improve life long success!