Virtual Summer Camp Fights Learning Loss and Keeps Children Safe While Having Fun

July 31, 2020

The educators at three of our Baltimore City community centers, Park House, POWER House, and UA House at Fayette have worked together to transform our on-site summer program into a comprehensive educational and enrichment virtual experience. 170 students in grades K-8 are currently enrolled in this 5-week camp that combines hands-on learning and activities done at home with online video group sessions that include programming to meet a variety of interests and ages.

Students are separated by age group and start their morning in a virtual homeroom where the educator will check in on everyone, lead a mindfulness exercise, talk about current events, and do some literacy exercises utilizing BookNook.  After that hour, students engage in one-hour enrichment sessions that are offered throughout the day.

With the requests of our students in mind, the education team creatively designed the programming to weave in traditional subjects such as math and writing in fun and innovative ways like Math Olympics games and Creative Writing workshops. The younger students can choose from arts & crafts, Spanish language learning, storytelling, bucket drumming, among others, while the older elementary-aged students can also choose to participate in dance, hair braiding, nutrition education, gardening, podcasting, cartography, and at-home fitness. For middle school students, our educators have created sessions to fit their maturing interests, with offerings such as a graphic novel workshop, music production and audio engineering, media/news studies, and self-defense classes.

Camp educators provide parents and students with weekly education materials to aid their online learning along with lesson plans and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) activities that can be completed in the evenings or on weekends. The demand for this new hybrid model of education has become increasingly important as the pandemic continues to affect the current and future status of education. Our educators are already working on how to best adapt our learning model to supplement education plans in the fall.

 

Living Classrooms Staff Writer