Camp iRock Works!

camp irock campers hold signs which say i used to think reading was impossible but then i came to camp irock

Support struggling readers through Camp iRock

Experts say the chance of succeeding in life increases with a quality education. Research suggests that a child is 90% likely to remain a poor reader at the end of the fourth grade if the child is a poor reader at the end of the first grade. Furthermore, one in six children who are not reading proficiently in the third grade does not graduate from high school on time, a rate four times greater than that for proficient readers.

The detrimental effects the pandemic has had on learning continue to be evident. Last fall, only 50% of 3rd graders were on track for reading proficiency. That means a staggering 50% of 3rd graders are not ready. That is worse than when Camp iRock began in 2015.

It’s much worse for 2nd graders who lost so much during their first two formative school years. Last fall, a staggering 67% of Pickens County 2nd graders were projected to not read at grade level by 3rd grade.

The need to expand Camp iRock is more urgent than ever. With your help, Camp iRock will double the number of 1st and 2nd graders served at each of the three Camp iRock sites, reaching a total of 588 struggling readers this summer.

Camp iRock- A Program that Works

A partnership between United Way of Pickens County, the School District of Pickens County, the YMCA of Easley, Pickens and Powdersville, and Call Me MiSTER, Camp iRock is an innovative and award winning summer program which helps children improve their reading abilities in an enriching summer camp environment. In the spring, the School District of Pickens County identifies students who could use a boost in their reading abilities and sends their families an invitation to attend Camp iRock.

Through the incredible support of donors in this community, and the amazing creativity, flexibility and expertise of Camp iRock teachers and staff, Camp iRock continues to be a program that works and served 434 struggling readers at three sites in Pickens County last summer.

You can download and read the 2022 report (PDF) here.

You are needed for something BIG!

3rd grade reading levels predict nearly every societal problem you can imagine. Reading on grade level is so critical to our community's future that United Way of Pickens County has set a bold goal of ensuring that at least 70% of Pickens County 3rd graders will read at grade level by 2025. We know this is achievable because you have proven that you are willing to invest in programs that work. Camp iRock is one of those programs that work.

60% of Pickens County 3rd graders are behind. Will you make sure that one struggling reader is able to benefit from the Camp iRock experience next summer?

Get Involved

Be a Reading Buddy Volunteer

Make a difference in the life of a camper as a Reading Buddy. Volunteers are needed to work one on one with campers to enhance the classroom learning. Camp iRock takes place June 5-29, and Reading Buddies are asked to spend 30 minutes once or twice a week at one of the three Camp iRock sites.

Learn more.

Stuff Camp iRock Backpacks

Teams of volunteers will be stuffing backpacks at each of the three Camp iRock sites on Thursday, June 1, 3:30-5 p.m. Once the bags are stuffed, they will be ready to distribute to students at Family Night that evening!

Learn more.



"Camp iRock is the best thing for a struggling kid."

As a baby, Dottie would crawl away from her parents when they tried to read books to her. Reading was never something she enjoyed, and was never something she thought she could do well. Camp iRock changed all of that, and it nearly brought her father to tears to talk about the transformation. Hear Dottie and her parents tell their story by watching the video below.

What Others are Saying