The Discovery Camp program is available for children from kindergarten through fifth-grade and runs all summer long until Aug. 8.
The camps, which usually host 80 to 100 kids a week, are broken down into weekly sessions. Each week features a new and unique theme that coincides with the designated lessons, such as Weather and Climate Week and Sea Creature Week, while each camp offers a fun-filled environment for the kids to immerse themselves in. As part of the initiative, the camp will also provide fun field trips on Fridays to various locations that correspond with the relevant theme.
Any interested parents or students can sign up at the Hammon Senior Center for a cost of $75 a week.
For those unable to afford the weekly cost, there is some availability through a city-generated scholarship fund that helps parents pay the weekly fee.
The camps sessions run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Apricot Valley Elementary School, and include two trips during the week to the Patterson Aquatic Center to stay cool during the summer. Field trips are designated for every Friday. The idea for the newly revamped summer Discovery Camp program stemmed from a conversation between District Coordinator Alysonn Cassidy and City Coordinator Jason Hayward.
Cassidy and Hayward wanted to revamp the seven-year-old program and find creative ways to engage the children in summer learning programs.
Alyson Cassidy said the PJUSD and city of Patterson wanted to “minimize summer learning loss, and create a fun safe place for Patterson youth to spend their summer.”
Hayward can attest to the effectiveness these changes have had on the kids.
“I have noticed the structure has really helped any discipline issues we’ve had in the past by keeping them engaged in the activity they’re doing,” said Hayward.
He also stressed that these disguised learning changes are great because they benefit the kids first and foremost. The children are unaware they are learning because of they are having fun in the process.
“It’s better for them that we can bring in the fun and games and bring in the education component,” said Hayward when describing the newfound impact this new philosophy has had.
In addition to these changes, the Discovery Camp will now run throughout the summer instead of cutting short just a few weeks before the school year. Cassidy said it was important to extend the project in order to help parents who work long hours away from home or commute long distances to their work place.
This alternative is not just beneficial for the parents, but will also allow kids the chance to meet others in their community while playing and actively learning in a safe, controlled environment. The program also helps curb any summer learning loss by running right up until the next school year.
Volunteers are currently being sought by the city of Patterson. Any interested parties can head to the Hammon Senior Center to get details on the program, and how to get involved.
Contact Erick Torres at 892-6187 ext: 28, or email@example.com.