This summer, 100+ resident kids in our communities participated in Do-it-Yourself Summer – our first virtual summer program, gathering online and working on projects together. When the summer learning program is focused on space and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), kids are engaged in building robots, designing space suits, and learning basic medical care.
Studies show that staying active and mentally engaged over the summer helps kids do better when they return to school in the fall. That’s why the summer learning program is a key part of REACH Kids, our approach to customized services that encourages the success of kids at our properties and the surrounding neighborhood, both academically at school and practically for work and life. As an acrostic, REACH focuses on five key values that enrich the lives of residents – kids, families, formerly homeless, veterans, seniors, and those living with special needs.
Thanks to the Dragon Kim Foundation, our Birch Hills property hosted a MedFX group that taught kids all about first aid and provided special effects supplies such as glue, fake blood, makeup palettes, and brushes. Using this highly realistic makeup, students practiced creating gruesomely life-like wounds on themselves, such as lacerations, bruises, and burns, then learned the proper care for each type of wound.
These educational experiences require the foresight of Resident Services Coordinators to plan and create activity kits with materials needed to participate and deliver them to the students. Purchased with generous donations from Jamboree supporters, the kits include a variety of art and craft supplies, school supplies, and snacks to fuel their activities.
If you’re going to learn engineering skills, why not build a robot? Students watched a video about how robots are designed and engineered, and the different purposes they serve. Next, they engineered their own robots using different craft materials such as paper cups, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and foam paper. Finally, each robot was given a name, a purpose, and an accomplishment.
A few students put their new learnings to work immediately. Frustrated by trying to manage their phones while working with task materials, they designed a simple phone holder using popsicle sticks.
The virtual summer also made it possible for kids from various Jamboree properties to meet and collaborate together online. Resident Service Coordinators Kimberly (at Compass Rose) and Megan (at Park Landing) hosted a program for kids from five different properties in cities throughout Orange County. Together, students enjoyed hands-on activities such as designing their own mission suits, space patches, and rovers.
To ensure effective learning, Keyanay Colvin, Community Engagement Coordinator for three Jamboree properties, collaborated with C3 Tutoring to provide one-on-one tutoring using Zoom virtual breakout rooms. And the Doria Teen Club explored college and career planning with guest speakers who discussed topics such as the difference between a community college and a four-year college, SAT & ACT Prep, graduate school experience and tips, and the importance of self-care.
Learn more about why REACH works and the values and results in our REACH Kids brochure.
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