Many years of providing supplemental in-school and after-school programming (in both public and private school settings) has taught us that gains made throughout the school year can be lost due to an unstructured, unconstructive summer experience.
Yet there are many mature youth who are too old for most summer day camp programs but whose families are too poor to enable them to attend an overnight summer camp. Students in this category often spend unrewarding summer seasons lacking positive meaning and value.
We are thus most grateful that we were again able to offer two robust, highly productive, engaging and enriching day camp programs to mature youth this past summer.
The first alternative day camp was our "Pioneers" Drama Camp, which was attended by 98 girls from low-income families who completed 6th and 7th grade before the summer. This unique day camp provided a quasi-overnight camp experience in a day camp setting by offering both day-time and occasional late night and overnight programming, which included:
- Drama Club and Filming
- Professional Clubs
- Exciting Trips
- Swimming and
Campers had the opportunity to star in a film which featured song, dance and drama. All campers were involved in the drama club--for those who do not enjoy acting or drama; we included song and dance in the film as well. The girls had vocal and dance lessons in order to perform their finest in the film. It was amazing to see each participant shine with their talent, singing, dancing or acting.
The second alternative day camp was our "Machane Heights" Biking Camp, which was attended by 95 boys, ages 11-14, from low-income families. This camp also provided a quasi-overnight camp experience by offering night activities two or more times a week, such as barbecues, besides daily activities which included:
- Biking training and trips
- Meaningful Arts & Crafts
- A wide-range of sports activities
- Academic enrichment
While the boys' program sports activities were done in teams, the boys knew they were not only being judged by winning the games, but more importantly on their teamwork skills. The experience they received from working together as a team will serve them throughout their lives.
|"Machane Heights" Biking Camp
These summer day camp experiences successfully improved skills, such as problem-solving, teamwork and critical thinking; engaged the student participants in a broad range of activities that facilitate positive behaviors, self-esteem, personal growth, social-emotional competencies, and a healthy lifestyle; and improved overall academic success in school during the school year.
We remain grateful to Chanie Moskowitz, our highly accomplished after-school programming specialist, who skillfully designed and organized and supervised these invaluable summer camping programs along with her gifted and dedicated program directors and staff; and, of course, to NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD)'s Comprehensive After School System of NYC (COMPASS) for providing the funding and support which made these programs possible along with so much more progressive educational programming, citywide