Our Excellence, Encouragement, and Education (E-Camp) began on Tuesday, July 12th and concluded last week on Friday, August 5th. There were 17 total participants and 14 participants who successfully completed the camp.The participants were immersed in the “Be the Dream” curriculum which focuses on goal setting, social awareness, and positive social interactions. Discussions included “What do I stand for in the world?” and “What do I stand against in life?” which pushed them to think of the greater world around them and their social environments. Other activities included students practicing having positive attitudes towards one another by writing positive traits of their classmates on a sheet of paper on their classmates’ back. The students weren’t allowed to view the responses until everyone had written something on every students’ sheet of paper. This activity also pushed them to interact with the classmates that they did not regularly have conversations with.
The camp was a collaborative effort with partners in the New Orleans area which included Treux North and Operation Spark. Danielle Burrell from Treux North facilitated health and wellness activities that included Yoga while Operation Spark provided our students with a crash course in computer coding. Participants also interacted with their neighborhood through a Pokemon Go & City Planning collaboration which was coordinated by our Section 3 Program Manager, Mai Dang, whose educational background is in city planning. She connected the popular mobile game, Pokemon Go, with a historical tour of our neighborhood which ended in Armstrong Park.
On a nearly weekly basis, students were brought on field trips to places such as Skate Country and Sector 6 which encouraged physical activity along with a visit to the New Orleans Museum of Art which provided them with cultural enrichment. At the culminating activity, students were surveyed about the program and some of their responses to the question, “Name some things that you learned during the program” were the following: “Follow your dreams & don’t let nobody tell you what you can’t do,” “What I want to be in life, how I’m going to get there and how hard I’m going to work for it,” and “Teamwork, determination”. We hope to continue programming for our teenagers in the
fall through biweekly sessions that’ll continue to cater to their academic, social, and career exploration needs.
Written by Shantell Lee, Youth and School Engagement Coordinator