Friday, August 28, 2009

Middle grades summer camp

From the PPS website:

Summer Middle-Grades Program

Save the date for next summer: July 12 – August 13!*

A Premier Summer Camp… for FREE!

Pittsburgh Public Schools is proud to announce the launch of the 2010-2011 summer camp (name to be determined by the community) for all 2009 – 2010 5th, 6th, and 7th grade students. The summer camp will offer a comprehensive approach to literacy, life skills, high school and college readiness, and of course summer fun. Students will participate in literacy instruction and extracurricular activities infused with themes to broaden their exposure to the community and the world around them. Each camp location will be themed and students will have the option to choose their themed site. In addition to participating in daily literacy instruction and activities, campers will also have the opportunity to engage in fun activities every afternoon through partnerships with organizations around the city of Pittsburgh. (Are you an organization interested in becoming an Activities Partner?)

*Dates are tentative

- Is PPS up to running a summer camp, with so much already on its plate?


Mark Rauterkus said...

PPS is going to partner with pleny of providers on this venture. The funds come from the federal stimulus program.

This is going to be 'summer school' -- but greatly expanded.

In the past, summer school, now enrichment, was only to the bottom 2/5ths of the students. This is hoped for as a change to hit all students and make it a special offering.

I do not think this is too much for the district -- as they are going to partner with others. Without the partnerships, it would be a sure failure.

I've gone to two meetings on this already. I'm sorta excited about its potential.

Mark Rauterkus said...

In the days to come, I'll put plenty of video online as to the one meeting I attended. Stay tuned.

Questioner said...

Mark, re: the camps hitting all students- many families will of course have other plans. Is there a good chance you will set aside the usual summer activities you mention on your blog and instead send your middle school student to PPS camp for a month?

Mark Rauterkus said...

Good question.

Some will. Some will not. To each his/her own.

And, this is only for middle-school aged kids. So, those aready in HS or younger are not getting the same opportunities -- so that might influence greatly too.

Part of the push now to create awareness is to encourage others to COUNT upon the summer enrichment for 2010 NOW. Then make those plans.

Frankly, this isn't a send to camp for a month kinda thing as it is only a day camp -- a school day's lenght or so: 9 am to 4ish.

I already do have a week of conflict for 2010 with our annual church camp. So, we might miss a week from the get-go. ???

Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

A concern I have is that for kids finishing 6th and 7th grade, day camp doesn't seem very popular. A program like ID Tech camp is the exception- kids who are very into designing video games, etc. focus almost the whole day on that interest, and parents who paid a lot for the camp made sure the kids attend every day of the 3 week session (it would be hard to run this kind of intense program with patchy attendance). But in general it seems like day camps don't attract this age group. And its not for lack of effort on the part of the camps.

Mark Rauterkus said...

The 'concern' about 'interests' and this age group of kids is spot-on.

You can't 'fool' kids of middle school age. Won't work.

Kids will vote with their feet too -- and not showing up is a huge worry with the program.

Likewise, the 3-hour per day 'enrichment' period is also good -- but not 'ideal' in terms leverage so as to jazzing the fibers of the being. But, the academic stuff isn't going to be typical bookwork and boring, so they claim.

The quality of these programs need to be present, for sure. If they are creative and well managed, then we'll see. If the choices are clear and dynamic, we've got some hope.

Anonymous said...

The academics should be folded into the afternoon programming too. The service providers should have enough time to plan this and time to consult with the teachers to marry their activities.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Marriage is a two way street. :)

I want to see the literacy and academics supporting the afternoon activities as well.