The St. Clair Catholic Summer Learning Camp, now in its fourth year, continues to grow in Chatham and Sarnia and has this year expanded to include Wallaceburg. The three week-long program, which began in 2014 with just three classrooms in Chatham, now includes nine classrooms among all three sites.
"Summer Learning Camp is a big hit with students and parents,” says Brenda Corchis, Coordinator – Elementary Curriculum. “It’s an opportunity for students to meet friends and learn new skills in order to reduce summer learning loss. The evidence also suggests that it helps to build confidence in our students."
The program consists of 45 hours of literacy, math and robotics over three weeks, which is taught during the morning hours. In the afternoon, educational excursions or special fun activities are planned. In Chatham-Kent, students will visit the Gable Rees Pool in Blenheim, Parks Blueberries, the Chatham Gymnastics Centre, the Chatham-Kent Children's Safety Village and the C.M. Wilson Conservation Area; in Sarnia, students will travel to the Moore Museum, Petrolia Pool, East Street Fire Station, Sarnia Public Library and Canatara Park; and in Wallaceburg, educational excursions are planned for Peers Wetlands, the Wallaceburg Museum, gymnastics, the Sydenham pool and the local branch of the Chatham-Kent Public Library.
"The educational excursions are used to help prompt students' thinking and further their interest in learning," says Mrs. Corchis. "We also keep the children physically active through games, dance, swimming and gymnastics."
This year, through an additional grant, robotics has been added to the camp learning schedule. Secondary students from Ursuline College and St. Patrick's support robotics instruction at each site using Dot and Dash and Lego Wedo.
Camp runs from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Monday to Friday from July 10 through July 28 at St. Matthew Catholic School in Sarnia; Georges P. Vanier Catholic School in Chatham; and St. Elizabeth Catholic School in Wallaceburg. Healthy snacks are provided to the students through funding from the Ontario Student Nutrition Programs of Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham-Kent.
The Summer Learning Camp program is funded through a grant from the Ontario Council of Directors of Education.
In the photos (top left) students learn cooking skills at St. Matthew Catholic School, Sarnia; while (above right) students at Georges P. Vanier, Chatham have fun with tie-dying t-shirts; and (bottom left) campers at St. Elizabeth, Wallaceburg enjoy time with their favourite books.