Camp DIVE: Help fund an enriching summer experience for underserved children

By Erica Gilbertson

  • $18,085.00

    Funded. Goal: $20,000.00

  • 14


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About Camp DIVE

During the month of June, an exciting summer program will be available to students enrolled in the Clarke County School District in Athens, Georgia. Camp DIVE (Discover, Inquire, Voice, and Explore) is a partnership between the Clarke County School District (CCSD), the UGA College of Education, and the Athens-Clarke County community.

The purpose of Camp DIVE is to provide an engaging and enriching summer experience for CCSD students in grades K-8 to help prevent or diminish the “summer slide” phenomenon. To meet the needs of students most at-risk for this summer learning loss, the program is provided free of charge. This summer, the program will serve approximately 80 students from a variety of economic backgrounds and neighborhoods in Athens-Clarke County. Camp DIVE was successfully piloted in June 2016 and ran successfully again in June 2017.

Programming will be provided by UGA faculty and students, while local community non-profit groups will offer student enrichment opportunities, such as dance, art, and trapeze.

Camp DIVE will run for four weeks from Monday, June 4 to Friday, June 29, from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at a Clarke County school. All day field trips will take place on Fridays. The CCSD food program will provide breakfast and lunch and some targeted transportation will be provided by CCSD as well. Clarke County teachers or administrators as well as UGA faculty members and graduate students will provide supervision and management throughout the day.

Class descriptions (all taught by UGA faculty and students) include the following:

  • Learning through Play: This course will explore how play and creative activities facilitate learning for campers in Kindergarten-2nd
  • Reading and Writing Workshop: This course will engage early readers and writers in writing their own books in Kindergarten-2nd
  • Youth!Athens: Photography, Performance, and Social Change: This course will engage 6th-8th grade campers in developing a civic voice to foster measurable change in Athens through multimedia (photography, model construction, collage, performance, poetry, narrated walks, etc.).

Why this project matters

Research shows that students with lower socio-economic status often do not have opportunities to experience stimulating summer camps and activities. As a result, they are more likely to suffer “summer slide” and begin the next school year catching up academically. Camp DIVE was created specifically to address the needs of these students, as well as to provide fun and enriching hands-on learning experiences for students from all economic backgrounds. Research shows that students of all ability levels and backgrounds benefit from learning and playing together.

Athens-Clarke County has one of the highest poverty rates of all counties in Georgia and more than 77% of students enrolled in CCSD receive free or reduced lunch. In 2011, the Family Connection-Communities in Schools discovered a lack of access to summer programming for many of these children. To address this need, community members formed a Summer Camp Planning Team with the UGA College of Education and CCSD in the summer of 2014. This team met monthly to develop Camp DIVE, which was piloted in June 2016.

Another set of goals of Camp DIVE is to provide UGA students with opportunities to engage in experiential learning, make a difference in their community, explore careers in education (for non-education majors), and take courses toward their degree requirements (for education majors).

Funding for this project will cover:

  • Background checks for UGA faculty, students, and community volunteers working with children
  • Entry fees into museums and parks and other miscellaneous field trip expenses
  • Honoraria to pay Clarke County teachers for their participation
  • Materials and supplies




Meredith Metcalf | Development Assistant Director, College of Education | 706-542-2267

  1. Beth Tolley
    $25.00 03/01/18 @ 3:27 pm
  2. Anonymous
    $25.00 03/02/18 @ 10:01 am
  3. Erica Gilbertson
    $25.00 03/05/18 @ 10:31 am
  4. Alice Kinman
    $100.00 03/19/18 @ 7:40 pm
  5. Karen Wilson
    $50.00 04/04/18 @ 5:15 pm
  6. Bethany Hamilton-Jones
    $25.00 04/06/18 @ 2:53 pm
  7. Libby Shaver
    $125.00 04/08/18 @ 4:09 pm
  8. Eve Carson Foundation
    $17,000.00 04/19/18 @ 3:12 pm
  9. Anonymous
    $50.00 04/21/18 @ 5:10 pm
  10. Chasity James
    $75.00 05/10/18 @ 5:02 pm
  11. Mary Voss
    $25.00 05/24/18 @ 11:13 am
  12. Jessica Orbock
    $500.00 05/30/18 @ 4:07 pm
  13. Laura Henschel
    $30.00 05/30/18 @ 4:08 pm
  14. Alexandra Case
    $30.00 05/30/18 @ 4:09 pm
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