CCSD's Summer Camps Offer Fun & Learning
In 2010, Charleston County School District’s (CCSD's) Community Education Kaleidoscope programs are offering 16 summer camps to over 800 children throughout the county. While the camps offer countless recreational opportunities, each also incorporates activities which correspond to the core curriculum and state standards and which build academic and life skills. Due to the program design and CCSD’s partnerships with a variety of community agencies, participants emerge from the camps with increased knowledge and excitement for the upcoming school year.
Academic Standards-Based Curriculum
When designing activities for the campers, counselors choose from hundreds of activity ideas listed in a manual designed by CCSD teachers according to South Carolina Curriculum Standards. Activities are thematic and intentional. Staff members check in with students before, during, and after activities ensure that they fully understand the academic skill.
CCSD’s camps promote the district's ongoing literacy efforts in several different ways. Many of the programs include field trips to the local libraries. West Ashley’s and Baptist Hill’s programs include regularly-scheduled visits from the Charleston County Public Library’s Bookmobile. Baptist Hill Community Education recently held a library card drive, during which 165 new library cards were issued. Many programs take field trips to local libraries. In addition, each CCSD camp has a reading center, and time is blocked off during the day for reading opportunities. The campers participate in programs such as Accelerated Reader and other summer reading programs offered through the public library and bookstores. The camps also offer clubs for reading aloud, creative writing, drama, and newsletter creation which require that participants apply and refine their literacy skills.
Laurel Hill Primary teachers work with the Community Education department to offer a summer enrichment camp for incoming kindergarten students and rising first and second graders. During this two-week camp, children “move up” to their next grade level. The children begin working on new material and review skills attained during the previous year. The camp also helps children become familiarized with their new environment, other students, and teachers.
Focus on Life Skills, Water Safety & Nutrition
One advantage of the camps is that they offer endless opportunities for children to develop social and personal development skills. Relationships that are created among staff, children, and families carry over throughout the year and help support for the emotional, social, and developmental growth of the students.
Numerous CCSD camps incorporate water-related activities designed to teach participants about the importance of water safety. For example, several programs include field trips to local water parks; Burke’s Camp Bulldog and Belle Hall Camp take advantage of their proximity to local recreation departments to offer swimming lessons to over 100 children. These various opportunities reflect CCSD’s Swim Safe Lowcountry partnership with Charleston County recreation departments, the Lowcountry Chapter of the American Red Cross, and other agencies.
CCSD’s partnership with the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission allows 5,625 meals to be served each week through the USDA Summer Lunch Feeding Program at 45 sites. The program allows nutritious meals to be served to low-income students and helps children to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Camps Offered by Community Partners
There are several camps offered at CCSD schools by external non-profit groups.
For example, the South Carolina Maritime Foundation offers a seven-week free summer enrichment program to 40 rising ninth graders who attend Title I schools in Charleston County. The program provides students with transportation, meals, and all program supplies at no cost in order to ensure equal opportunity access to the program. The experience is divided into a shore component (located at Sanders-Clyde Elementary/Middle) and a sea component consisting of a one-week leadership and character development program aboard the Spirit of South Carolina. Last year, campers experienced a 14.4% average increase in student literacy as measured by week one and week six oralfluency scores, and 100% of last year’s camp’s participants are still enrolled in CCSDschools at the end of their ninth grade year.
Camp Hope is made possible by the collaboration of a variety of agencies including the YMCA, the Charleston Police Department, and the Mayor’s Office of Children, Youth and Families among others. The experience is free to participants and provides exposure to positive role models, recreational activities, and diverse experiences to youth on the Charleston Peninsula. This year, the program is being housed at Sanders-Clyde.
Camp Good Times, a non-profit charity, is a three week camp for children ages 3-18 with autism. The camp has been held in a CCSD school location since 1972 and has approximately 125 participants. This year, Camp Good Times is located at Ladson Elementary. It provides campers with the opportunity to maintain the skills they acquired at school over the summer and helps alleviate the need for the district to provide extended school year services.
Learn more about CCSD’s camps by visiting the Community Education page or by calling (843) 937-6518.