Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Makayla's Letter from Camp

Summer learning is often thought of as an “extra,” something nice, but not necessary.  However, more and more research shows that summer learning is critical in a child’s development.

Summer learning prevents the “summer slide”- when kids lose up to three months of what they learned in the previous school year, especially in math.  It allows kids to explore their interests, enhance their skills, and discover alternative ways of learning.

But enough of us policy wonks talking. Reports and research may statistically show why summer learning is important, but 7th grader Makayla says it best as she takes us through her day at Kid Power, Inc in her Letter from Camp:

Letter from Camp

Hello my name is Makayla and I am a camper at Kid Power summer camp. I am 11 years old and I am going to the 7th grade. I am going to tell you what Kid Power is all about!

In the morning we sign in and have the choice of going to the gym or going downstairs to eat breakfast. We have three main classes: Math, ELA, and VeggieTime.

In math we use baseball statistics to go over skills like fractions and division. The teams that I follow are the Angles, the Nationals, the Pirates, and the Yankees. Go Nationals!

ELA is also called film class. In film class we watch movies and fill out a storyboard so we can understand the movies better. The storyboards include main characters, supporting characters, setting, and plot.

In VeggieTime, we either tend to our garden or exercise in “VeggieTime Moves”. In the garden we water the plants, identify what’s growing, weeds, and harvest crops. We even got to paint signs, fences, and decorations to make it look beautiful. 

VeggieTime Moves is when we go outside or in the gym and exercise. For example, recently we did “Kid Power Cardio,” which is like Zumba, in the gym. It was a lot of fun!

After the three classes, we go downstairs for lunch. We eat and have some free time during recess. Every Tuesday, the Middle School Camp goes to the pool. The afternoons we don’t go to the pool, we have enrichment. The classes are tennis, cooking, and the Hot Sauce Challenge.

Tennis class is a lot of fun. We go outside to the tennis courts and learn skills like serving, backhands, forehands, and volleys. I played my counselors Miss Katie and Mr. Wendall, but I don’t remember who won. (Probably me!)

During cooking we use plants from the garden to make healthy snacks. In one class we made homemade ranch dressing using sour cream, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and parsley we had grown ourselves.

The Hot Sauce Challenge is where every class makes their own hot sauce to sell. The money that we make selling it is going to be donated to a charity of our choice. We made our own recipe and will market it with our own logo and slogan!

Ever Friday, Middle School Camp goes on a field trip. Some of our recent field trips have been to the beach, a scavenger hunt around the community, and a field day with volunteers from Hanover Research. This Friday we are going to American University for a campus tour and later in camp we are also going to Splash Down Water Park!

In conclusion, I would like to thank all the staff, coordinators, and supporters of Kid Power. I think Kid Power is a very fun and exciting summer camp. I think all kids should join! I will definitely be back next year! 

Kid Power is an expanded learning member of DC Alliance of Youth Advocates. Kid Power specializes in youth development by promoting academic advancement, physical and emotional wellness, and positive civic engagement in underserved communities throughout the District. Find out about other expanded and summer learning programs in the DC area by visiting the DCAYA website at 

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