Discovery Camp initiative in full swing
by Erick Torres
Jul 10, 2014 | 923 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
<b>Group Hug:</b> After they were done practicing their play, the Discovery Camp kids gathered around staff member Darrius Hunt for a group hug to celebrate.—<b>Erick Torres</b>/Patterson Irrigator
Group Hug: After they were done practicing their play, the Discovery Camp kids gathered around staff member Darrius Hunt for a group hug to celebrate.—Erick Torres/Patterson Irrigator
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<b>We the people:</b> Staff member Alex Berumen helps the Discovery Camp participants read the preamble of the Constitution by following along.—<b>Erick Torres</b>/Patterson Irrigator
We the people: Staff member Alex Berumen helps the Discovery Camp participants read the preamble of the Constitution by following along.—Erick Torres/Patterson Irrigator
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<b>Staying focused:</b> A young Discovery Camp participant has his attention focused on the play they are working on for their themed activities of the week.—<b>Erick Torres</b>/Patterson Irrigator
Staying focused: A young Discovery Camp participant has his attention focused on the play they are working on for their themed activities of the week.—Erick Torres/Patterson Irrigator
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<b>Where art thou:</b> The Discovery Camp kids gather around a volunteer in order to go through the parts for their play. The children collaborated together on the project all afternoon enjoying their summer.—<b>Erick Torres</b>/Patterson Irrigator
Where art thou: The Discovery Camp kids gather around a volunteer in order to go through the parts for their play. The children collaborated together on the project all afternoon enjoying their summer.—Erick Torres/Patterson Irrigator
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<b>In order to form a more perfect union:</b> First year volunteer Priscilla Menchaca tries to get the attention of her camp members in order to go through the historic preamble that defines the tone of our nation.—<b>Erick Torres</b>/Patterson Irrigator
In order to form a more perfect union: First year volunteer Priscilla Menchaca tries to get the attention of her camp members in order to go through the historic preamble that defines the tone of our nation.—Erick Torres/Patterson Irrigator
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The city of Patterson and the Patterson Joint Unified School District’s After School Program have teamed up once again for their summer Discovery Camp program here in Patterson.

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 erick@pattersonirrigator.com.
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