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Learn All Summer Long: Communities In Schools Fun-Sational Summer Camp

by | Jan 27, 2016 | Nonprofits, North Brunswick

Summer is here! Children everywhere love the long days of summer break. However, parents often meet the season with some trepidation and questions: Who will watch my kids while I am at work? What can I do to keep my children active and away from too much TV and video games during the next few months?

Community In Schools’ (CIS) Fun-Sational Summer Camp (hosted through the After School Program), can be the answer for many parents.

CIS of Brunswick County is part of a national network of community-based organizations that strive to help kids succeed in school and prepare for life. CIS is committed to the continuation of learning even throughout the summer months. The program’s theme is “Character Counts.” The summer camp staff dedicates itself to providing children with a fun, educational environment and developing the positive values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.

“More and more studies are showing that kids who do not stay active during an unstructured summer can pay the price of summer slide,” says Kathy Smith, CIS After School Director. “Almost all kids lose math skills over the summer—nearly three months worth, and two to three months of reading loss is shown in studies by John Hopkins Center for Summer Learning.”

The Fun-Sational Summer Camp wishes to change all that.

The camp is open to rising kindergarten through fifth graders and begins June 11 and ends August 22. It is offered Monday through Friday from 7 am to 6 pm in four different locations: Belville Elementary in Leland, Jesse Mae Monroe Elementary in Ash, Southport Elementary and Supply Elementary.

Each site will hold a maximum of about 40 children, and participants must be registered in advance as either full measure longitude and latitude, hone their writing and reading skills, and just have a fantastic time learning a new skill while just being a kid,” says Smith.

Here is how the Geo-Cache program works. Everyone participates in a treasure hunt. The kids are given directions to find certain cache (a cache can be information that is gathered at each site that may lead the child to another cache site or it could be a trinket) using a hand-held GPS (Global Positioning System). The children decide who will carry the GPS system, who will be the photographer, who will be the reporter and who will be the person to log in the book at each of the cache sites. The kids get to enjoy the great outdoors, learn about working as a team and refine their skills in communication, math, geography, science, writing and motivation.

“We hope that as the kids are having fun exploring…they will be avoiding that awful ‘Summer Learning Loss’ that inevitably takes place during the lazy months of summer,” says Smith.

The program also plans to go on weekly field trips out in the community, for example, to Fort Caswell in Southport, swimming, crabbing, putt-putt golf and visiting local historical sites, to name just a few.

In addition, the camp staff consists of thoroughly screened personnel who are trained in camp programming, emergency proceedings, age-appropriate activities and behavior management. The camp 73also provides counselor-in-training programs for middle and high school students. These students are involved in the camp program, have the chance to be positive role models, and learn the importance of volunteering at the same time.

“This has proven to be a success, because several of our previous trainees have come back to now be group leaders,” Smith says.

CIS also reaches out to the community at large, welcomes the public’s support and continues to ask people to volunteer their time and share their hobbies or skills with each of their programs.

“Summer camps are wonderful alternatives,” states Smith. “We are very excited about our camp, as you can see!”

For more detailed information on the Fun-Sational Summer Camp and to download a registration form, please visit their website at: http://www.cisbrunswick.org/after_school.html or contact Kathy Smith, After School Director, at (910) 754-9515; or Janet Baldree, After School Operations Coordinator, at (910) 371-3182.

You can also contact any of the After School sites:

Belville Elementary (PK-5)

575 River Road

Leland, NC 28451

After School Site: (910) 371-2245

Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary (PK-5)

250 Pea Landing Road, NW

Ash, NC 28420

After School Site: (910) 287-4622

Southport Elementary (PK-5)

701 West Ninth Street

Southport, NC 28461

After School Site: (910) 454-9848

Supply Elementary (PK-5)

51 Benton Road, SE

Supply, NC 28462

After School Site: (910) 754-5392

Sponsored by ATMC

About The Author

Heather Lowery

Although she's a native Marylander, through vacationing on the Outer Banks as a kid and attending Belmont Abbey College, Heather had always considered North Carolina her second home. Heather and her family moved to Brunswick County in 2007. Her husband, three kids, two dogs and one cat keep her on her toes, as does her classroom full of sparkly eyed elementary students. She loves pursuing her creative side through writing for NBM and teaching! Her future goals include spending more time at the beach with family, reading the entire Agatha Christie collection, and learning how to paint a masterpiece (well, maybe not a masterpiece...but certainly something other than paint-by-numbers).

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