ENRICHMENT CAMP FOR THE CHILDREN OF ATIMA
By Todd Wade
The Summer Camp experiment seemed to be quite successful. With a very able, rotating crew of camp helpers, we were able to give the 3rd through 6th grade students an entertaining and hopefully educational experience.
Ours days started at 8:15 a.m. in the school yard with 35 to 40 predetermined students. We would march a few minutes to the town square and sit on the steps that led to the stage, in the town square. At about 8:30, we would start our English lessons. Through a variety of activities, we practiced basic English conversational skills for about 9:45. We did whole group choral response, individual practice, small group practice, kinesthetic activities, and more. By then end of each days lessons, in addition to the 35+ selected students, we would have a dozen or so adults watching and often 20 or more extra kids participating. During this section of the day, we often had special presentations by a couple guest lecturers. On 2 of the 3 days, Anne P, a specialist with the hearing impaired, taught the students how to sign the alphabet, as we taught them the ABCs in English. On our final day, we had nutrition and health specialist, Jody G, do fun kinesthetic activities as she taught them about proper nutrition.
The second part of the day was entertainment and sports based. We would march up to the soccer fields. We would start with Frisbee lessons. Then we would try to play soccer, but with Frisbees. It was chaotic and fun. While this was going on, there were jump rope competitions on the stage area behind the goal. We would eventually let them play, what they all really wanted to play…. Soccer. We divided up teams, and let them play. They would have done that for hours. At about 11:30 we would start heading home to the plaza. On the walk back home, we would give out sidewalk chalk. They were free to use them in any way they wanted. They wrote English conversations and drew nutritional foods (after Jody’s talk) and just had fun with it. At this point, we would say goodbye, and get ready for the next set of kids the next day.
Based on the success of our first summer program, we plan to offer this experience once again on our next June trip.
See a glimpse of our volunteers in action: