Happy Campers

CAMBA’s summer camps provide many opportunities for enrichment which combat this “summer slide.”

On July 12, children from CAMBA’s Kids Shine summer camp went on a field trip to the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company for a creative collaborative writing experience. The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company may appear to be a quirky superhero storefront, but hidden behind a bookcase is a secret entrance to a creative writing room, where CAMBA’s campers were welcomed in for learning and fun. CAMBA campers were lucky enough to be able to make their own books, with the help of volunteers, at this Storytelling and Bookmaking Field Trip. The field trip was a two-hour collaborative writing exercise for children aged six to nine. They learned about basic storytelling techniques and components, including dialogue, using adjectives and detail, setting, problem and solution, and cliffhangers.

According to the National Summer Learning Association, each summer, low-income youth lose two to three months of reading and math, while their higher-income peers are able to make slight gains.

This kind of field trip is so important because as Marlene Maxwell, an education specialist with CAMBA’s Education and Youth Development program said, “writing is an everyday component that [students] need to know.” She also stressed that “summer camp supports students to make it easier to go back into the classroom in the school year.” According to the National Summer Learning Association, each summer, low-income youth lose two to three months of reading and math, while their higher-income peers are able to make slight gains. These reading and math losses add up and by the time children reach the fifth grade, low-income students can be two to three years behind their peers due to summer learning loss. CAMBA’s summer camps provide many opportunities for enrichment which combat this “summer slide.” Activities such as this field trip are fun, engaging, and build upon the campers’ skills, making for a smoother school transition in September.

The field trip also gave our campers the chance to be creative and feel a sense of accomplishment when completing their bound books. Maxwell said she hoped that the students took away from this experience, “the love of writing, and for them [to not be] afraid to write whatever ideas come to mind whenever and wherever.” Additionally, Maxwell noted that she saw some children were more comfortable with expressing their ideas. For those who were not as comfortable, Maxwell said that “the staff could encourage them to develop their own ideas and support their writing.” She said she hoped that the field trip would “encourage [the kids] to think of themselves as future writers and illustrators.”

The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company is a program of 826NYC. 826NYC is a nonprofit organization that is part of a national network of other 826 locations, all of which work to support students ages six through eighteen in developing creative writing skills. The organization also aims to help teachers inspire their students to write. 826NYC works hard to provide one-on-one attention to students and they believe that strong writing skills are critical to future success. We thank the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company and 826NYC for hosting our campers on this great field trip.

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CAMBA connects New Yorkers to opportunities through its dedicated staff, who are trained to provide solutions to the biggest challenges of life in New York. Visit CAMBA’s 40th Anniversary website and join us in our 2020 Vision Campaign to provide services to young people throughout the city

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