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Camp for kids experiencing homelessness adds health screenings to summer fun and academic enrichment

UpSpring's Summer 360° camp provides academic enrichment and fun field trips for dozens of children experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity, including the children in this photo.
Angie Lipscomb Photography
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UpSpring's Summer 360° camp provides academic enrichment and fun field trips for dozens of children experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity, including the children in this photo.

More than 8,000 children experience homelessness in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky each year.

And each summer, the nonprofit organization UpSpring holds a day camp called Summer 360° for dozens of those kids between the ages of 5 and 14.

The goal is to provide academic enrichment, meals and field trips so the children can explore some of what the region has to offer and spend time with other kids experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity.

This summer, the Summer 360° campers also will get visits from pediatric residents at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to provide health screenings to determine whether the kids have gaps in their medical care and to connect the children and their families with the care they need.

The pediatric residents call their initiative REACH, for Reinforcing Health Equity Around Childhood Homelessness. It’s being supported with an American Academy of Pediatrics Community Access to Child Health grant.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to talk about UpSpring’s Summer 360° and REACH are Katie Jensen, UpSpring’s development and marketing director; Dr. Elizabeth Lendrum, a pediatric chief resident at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; and Dr. Nick DeBlasio, medical director of pediatric primary care in the Division of General and Community Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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