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Success Story

How FUSD created fully-booked summer camps with overflowing waitlists

Over 700 students signed up, with 200+ more on a waitlist

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Success in Numbers




on waiting lists


rating from students

The Challenge

Maintain the momentum from 2022 summer camps and afterschool programs, growing the Work ED-run career discovery programs.

  • Retain students from previous career-discovery programs

  • Create a multi-level marketing campaign to extend reach and boost numbers

  • Build on and add to an exciting curriculum maintains student momentum through summer

The solution

Build on an established, impactful partnership with a known vendor that students, parents, and site staff trust to deliver.

Work ED staff sit at a sign-in desk, ready for students to arrive.

A trusted team returns

FUSD know that Work ED has become a known force in the community and has a strong relationship with the staff. Continuing their relationship into the summer was a sure bet for successful programs.

Work ED staff stand at a marketing stall bearing the Work ED logo

A multi-level marketing campaign that drove record attendance

FUSD’s own program marketing efforts were complemented by Work ED, who created a marketing strategy that combined boots on the ground in the community with a digital marketing funnel that got students signed up in record numbers.

A suite of high-impact programs that students and parents loved

FUSD selected Work ED’s exciting and modern curriculum, such as video game design and drones, that were attractive to students.

Using Momentum: How FUSD Filled its Career Discovery Summer Camps with Work ED

The Work ED sign-in and sign-out desk has become a well-loved fixture across FUSD school sites. Copyright Work ED.

This case of record-breaking summer camp attendance is the result of a movement years in the making.

Fresno Unified School District (FUSD) first partnered with Work ED in summer 2021—you can read more details about how that relationship first developed here.

Building on past success

Students have been attending in-person Work ED programs since fall 2022, when FUSD assigned Work ED Afterschool programs in 30 schools over 30 weeks, offering Career Discovery and STEAM/Tech-themed programs such as Video Game Design, Esports, and Entrepreneurship.

At the end of each program, student families were invited to a community day event, where they watch their children give presentations demonstrating their projects and the skills they learned along the way. This extended the association with Work ED beyond the students into families and the wider community, making Work ED a known force for good.

A culture of trust and development

During that time, FUSD on-site school staff developed strong relationships with Work ED staff. They saw firsthand the impact that Work ED programs were having on the students and witnessed the passion and professionalism of Work ED staff.

The Work ED culture is reflected in the soft skills staff helped students develop during the program: emotional support and compassion, and a growth mindset to keep improving. That company culture creates a strong level of staff retention, which helps students develop strong levels of trust with the staff they see throughout the school year.

Outstanding industry partner

There’s another layer to the Work ED programs that FUSD came to value: the paid Teaching Assistant Internship, where high school students from FUSD were given an opportunity to assist in program operations. This Work ED internship (which is offered with every program) is often high school students’ first work experience, and under the careful guidance of senior Work ED staff, they too are guided out of their comfort zone, developing confidence as they assist in classroom management and leading some of the lesson plans. For the Teaching Assistant Internship, Work ED was recognized as the FUSD Outstanding Industry Partner for school year 2022-23.

Work ED was awarded the title of "Outstanding Industry Partner" by FUSD for its high school internship program. Copyright Work ED.

Learn more about the Work ED TA program

Driving attendance

With strong testimonials from students, parents, and school site staff, the evidence suggested that if Work ED returned for summer camp programming, there’d be a rush to sign up. Work ED was given 3 weeks of career-discovery programming for summer 2023.

However, the Work ED team decided to take no risks with attendance. Extended learning programs are often hard to fill for school districts. Knowing this, the Work ED team mapped out a multi-level marketing plan that added on to FUSD’s efforts, including in-person drives from the well-loved Work ED staff, physical flyers, and a landing page that gave extra tantalizing details of the programs.

The result?

Within days of registration opening, programs were fully booked. Waitlists filled up soon after.

On opening day, there was a queue down the block of eager students waiting to get started, despite the hot summer that spread over Fresno.

The line-up on day 1 of the Work ED summer camps. Copyright Work ED.

A summer of momentum

Returning students built on the skills they’d begun developing in previous programs, continuing their growth journeys. New students discovered what made Work ED such a buzz in the community: staff that made them feel welcome, fun, rewarding projects, and a sense of agency in their own future.

Students worked on vital soft skills during the program to complete their projects, such as public speaking. Copyright Work ED.

As with previous programs, students were able to work on the soft skills that get them career-ready, such as collaboration, communication, and creativity. New potential career discovery pathways were opened up, with curriculum on drones, video game design, and entrepreneurship offering something different to most career discovery programs.

At the end of the program, students were surveyed (as students are at the end of each program Work ED runs). Students rated the program overall as 4.6 out of 5. Once again it was the staff connection that students mentioned when asked what they enjoyed most about the programs, with staff rated 4.7 out of 5.

The team at Work ED will spend the time between summer and the new school season exploring the student survey data for areas of improvement—because the story with FUSD doesn’t end there.

FUSD is bringing Work ED back for afterschool programming in the 2023-24 school year across 30 sites, keeping the momentum with students, staff and families going and growing.

Who said summer camp isn't cool? Young FUSD students working hard. Copyright Work ED.

Student testimonials from the Work ED survey:

"I wish this program could be a real class during school."

4th grade student

"The teachers are the best."

3rd grade student

"[I] liked how staff interacted with students. Good activities, and made new friends!"

8th grade student

"This is a good place, I enjoy it."

7th grade student

"I'm going to be really sad and I will miss this program. I loved my teachers."

2nd grade student

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