The Shikhar & Kristin Saxena Foundation is very excited to be partnering with NorthStar to support Camp NorthStar’s Summer School Program

NorthStar is a non-profit organization located in North Omaha.  Their mission is “to change young men’s lives through programming that supports, challenges, inspires and instills a life rooted in education, self-discipline and service to the community.”  NorthStar serves young men in the North Omaha community who are among the most vulnerable to failed academic progress and high school dropout.  Eighty percent of NorthStar boys reside in homes with a median income less than $30,000, 86% come from single parent households, and 97% participate in federal free and reduced lunch programming.   

Established in 2014, NorthStar currently serves boys in grades 3-12.  NorthStar seeks to dramatically increase the proportion of male students in North Omaha who graduate from high school on time, positioned to begin post-secondary education or immediately enter the workforce.   They are just completing an expansion project and this year will serve about 300 students per day after school and about 350 in their summer Camp NorthStar programming.

Camp NorthStar’s chief goal is the prevention of summer learning loss among at-risk North Omaha boys. With significant learning loss resulting from school closures during the COVID-19 crisis, Camp NorthStar’s program model will also play a key role in long-term efforts to rebuild and nurture the academic and social-emotional growth of young men in North Omaha.

The summer months represent a particularly volatile time for low-income children. For these kids, summer learning loss can cause loss of up to three months of the reading and math gains they may have achieved during the school year.

These losses are now compounded by the burden of ‘COVID-19 Loss’ which threatens to leave our most vulnerable students significantly off-track in core academic skills. Preliminary research suggests that the achievement gap between low- and higher-income students will grow by up to 20% as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic (Kuhfeld, M. & Tarasawa, B., “The COVID-19 slide: What summer learning loss can tell us about the potential impact of school closures on student academic achievement,” NWEA, 2020). 

Camp NorthStar activities include intensive tutoring in reading and math as well as experiential learning in STEM, technology, robotics, athletics, arts and music.  Boys at NorthStar are able to spend their summer maximizing their potential in a nurturing, safe, and fun environment.  

In the face of the educational crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Shikhar and Kristin Saxena Foundation is proud to partner with Camp NorthStar 2021 to support the academic growth of NorthStar boys.  We look forward to future engagements with NorthStar and supporting programming to help NorthStar boys become successful, healthy young men.   

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