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Camp iRock

A partnership between United Way of Pickens County, the School District of Pickens County, and the Pickens County YMCA, Camp iRock is an innovative summer camp which helps children improve their reading abilities while having tons of summer camp fun. In the spring, the School District of Pickens County identifies rising 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders who could use a boost in their reading abilities and sends their families an invitation to attend Camp iRock.

Camp iRock includes:

  • Transportation to and from camp (if needed)
  • Breakfast, lunch and snacks
  • High quality reading instruction in a small group environment
  • Swim lessons
  • Field trips
  • Traditional summer camp games and activities

Watch highlights from Camp iRock 2016!

The Results

  • 100% of children attending Camp iRock experienced no summer learning loss and either maintained or increased their reading level.
  • Students who attended at least 50% of Camp iRock had an average of 2 levels of growth in reading- that is equivalent to 5 months of growth in just 6 weeks of instruction.
  • 85% of students maintained or improved their attitudes about reading.
  • 95% of parents reported growth in their child's positive character values.
  • 51% of campers tested maintained or decreased their BMI (body mass index).
  • 58% of campers tested increased their upper body strength.
  • 73% of campers tested maintained or increased their aerobic capacity.
  • Of the students who attended 50% or more of Camp iRock, 76% attended at least one family night activity.

What People are Saying

The Camp iRock model illustrates how a community can collaborate to improve reading achievement for struggling students. The collaboration between the School District of Pickens County, United Way of Pickens County, the local YMCA and Clemson University's Call Me Mister Program maximizes the resources and assets of the community. The state needs more examples of such collaboration to help struggling learners get back on the path to academic success. Camp iRock is unlocking a child's ability to learn and read, and thus helping to ensure that one day, they will be graduating college and career ready.

South Carolina Education Oversight Committee


We took our granddaughter into our home because her mother couldn't care for her. She barely passed 1st grade and most likely would be held back in 2nd grade. Then she went to Camp iRock. Honestly, in the beginning she really struggled with the reading and wanted to quit. But she LOVED the camp part. That is what kept her going. By the end of the summer she was a different kid. Her first report card arrived today. All A's and B's for the first time in her life. There are no words to describe how excited she was.

Camp iRock grandparent


What I love most about Camp iRock is the reading. The Y counselors are really cool. When I don't know a hard word, everybody helps me figure it out. It's awesome. I've really improved my reading a lot. My favorite field trip was the Clemson Botanical Garden. I learned all about this black and white butterfly.

Camp iRock camper


It's exciting to me to see how much the children have accomplished. They have made so much progress in listening, comprehension and sharing what they've learned. Now they can't wait to read!

Camp iRock teacher