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Free, digital education program designed to combat summer learning loss

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Families can take learning on-the-go this summer with a new app for Camp Wonderopolis®, a free, fun, online education program. For children, the digital camp fuels curiosity and engages their interest in the ‘why’ behind everyday things. Meanwhile, parents can see how the program combats summer learning loss. While Camp Wonderopolis is available online, the addition of the app means, once downloaded, families can take Camp Wonderopolis with them on road trips, to the grocery store, or anywhere they want to tap into learning.

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Created by the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) with support from Better World Books, Camp Wonderopolis is full of interactive STEM and literacy-building topics. This year’s theme, Symphony of Wonders, allows children to work at their own pace to investigate music-related topics such as: Why Do Pianos Have 88 Keys?; Why Do You Get Goosebumps When Someone Sings Beautifully?; or, How Are Echoes Created? There are 42 lessons available and six Maker activities.

“Camp Wonderopolis was created to help fight summer learning loss by engaging children with relevant, high-interest content to build reading comprehension, critical thinking, and vocabulary skills,” said John MacLeod, NCFL community manager. “Some children will fly through all the lessons in a few days, while others may go at a slower pace. Together, parents and children can spend time creating the Maker activities suggested.”

Maker activities are low-cost projects meant to bring learning to life by having parents and children work together to create the end product. Everyday items, often found in the home or for low cost at the store, are used as materials. Projects include: maracas made from plastic eggs, popcorn, or rice, spoons and tape; and a harmonica made from straws, popsicle sticks, and rubber bands.

According to Oxford Learning, children can lose up to three months of academic gains after taking long breaks from school. Summer learning loss is cumulative, and, over time, can create a gap of two to five years by the time students reach high school.

“We’ve participated in Camp Wonderopolis for the past couple of years and the lessons not only keep my children engaged, they have fun learning,” said Cris Howard, parent. “We love doing the Maker activities together. I can see their brains working!”

Now in its fifth year, Camp Wonderopolis has attracted more than 45,000+ registered Campers across all Camps — resulting in 160,000 vocabulary words mastered and 60,000 informational text quizzes passed. In addition, more than 10,000 hours of learning has been logged by Camp users.

Students, parents, and program staff can register to participate in Camp Wonderopolis for free at Camp.Wonderopolis.org. Families and organizations may opt to enhance their Camp experience by purchasing a Campsite Kit. Family Kits are packed with a family guide, supplies for two Maker activities, Wonder Cards®, a Wonder Journal and fun ways for families to learn together. Program Kits (for organizations) provide online training and support materials to implement Camp Wonderopolis programming. Campsite Kits can be purchased at the Wonder Store, Store.Wonderopolis.org.

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