maandag, augustus 15, 2022
HomeEducationAt summer season camp, extra studying, extra hugs, similar enjoyable

At summer season camp, extra studying, extra hugs, similar enjoyable


Allison Perez, 11, and on the cusp of sixth grade in the Elmsford Union Free School District in New York, had been working all morning to build a rocket she would launch as soon as it was fit to fly.

After more than a year of interrupted learning, she was eager to see her project through. She shot the colorful 12-inch missile into the air with abandon on the last day of summer camp. “Whoa!” she said through her mask as the rocket soared overhead before crashing to the pavement. After adjusting her glasses and retrieving her projectile, she lined up behind her peers, anxious to try again.

Before the program started, Allison worried it would feel too much like school. A brand-new joint venture between the district, located some 20 miles north of Manhattan, and a local educational enrichment organization, it promised a far more academic focus than a typical summer camp. But after learning from home for nearly the entire school year — Allison attended class for only two weeks at the end of last semester — she knew she would benefit from the experience. 

“After my mom told me all we are learning and that it would help me in sixth grade, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it,” she said. “If I am already prepared, the grade will be easier for me.”

Summer camps and day camps were hit hard by the pandemic and shutdown in 2020. When they reopened this year, some focused on helping kids catch up academically and emotionally after a year spent online. In addition to such traditional activities as sports, canoeing and arts and crafts, many included hands-on projects that improve kids understanding of science, math and language. Credit: Lillian Mongeau for the Hechinger Report

For many children who descended on the nation’s public parks and schools this summer, camp was their first taste of normalcy in well more than a year. Educators, parents and camp directors embraced the experience as a way to support student mental health as children isolated by the pandemic re-entered the outside world, in some cases for the first time since schools were shuttered.

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