When school closures were announced in response to the new coronavirus, many hoped that students would be able to return before the end of the year. Two months later, a clear picture has emerged in which closures and remote learning will extend well into the next school year for many students. In between, comes summer, and Somerville, Mass.-based Candlewick Press has launched a program for children and young adults wondering what to do with their long summer days.
Announced on Monday, Camp Candlewick is a 12-week free online education program for kids in grades 1–12. Campers will be divided into virtual cabins by age group and participate in workshops, read-alouds, and other activities. The publisher has created e-newsletters, Pinterest updates, and website materials that will be available to support readers throughout the program. They will be joined by authors and illustrators, including Megan McDonald, Meg Medina, G. Neri, and Cynthia Leitich Smith.
The idea for the summer camp grew out of the success of the publisher’s Stay Home with Candlewick Press initiative, which has provided resources and support to families during the transition to remote learning. “We realized that families might feel even more in need of diversion over the summer, when the school year has ended and many camps will be closed,” said Kathleen Rourke, executive director of educational library sales and marketing at Candlewick.
“Preventing the loss of skills is more critical than ever this year,” Rourke said. “We hope that these 12 weeks of activities will provide connection and enrichment when young readers need it most.”
Along with Candlewick, other publishers are also developing summer content to assist families, including Scholastic, which launched a fully digital Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza on May 4. Camp Candlewick’s home will be on the publisher’s Stay Home site, and will run from June 11 to August 27.