How did you spend your summer vacation? Students at Jamboree properties across California stayed active with things like reading, theater, sports, scuba diving, art, and music. For six weeks, 200 kids and teens from 22 properties participated in Under the Sea, a diverse and creative learning program packed with opportunities to explore new experiences.
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 encourage 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. Our jam-packed summer Under the Sea demonstrates the E value of REACH – Experiences that are Meaningful and Relevant.
The summer kicked off with a room-decorating competition between properties. Our onsite Resident Services Coordinators worked with students and volunteers to transform learning centers into a world Under the Sea. Seven properties created their own literacy game, with kids rolling dice to take steps backwards, forwards, or earn a prize as they read their books. Students looked forward to reading, and 75 students each read between three to five days of the week for 15 to 30 minutes each day. As an incentive for completing the reading program, the kids won a fieldtrip to Knott’s Berry Farm.
Students at Valencia Woods practiced music in a Capoeira Music Class, along with dance lessons. Granite Court and Montecito Vista offered art classes for pastels sponsored by the Dragon Kim Foundation and celebrated completion of the four-week class with an Art Gala open to the entire surrounding neighborhood.
A wide variety of interactive learning camps gave the students a chance to learn teambuilding skills, new hobbies and interests, and exercise. From scuba lessons in the local pool with a certified scuba instructor and full gear, to regular afternoon softball games (which encouraged speedy completion of homework), kids enjoyed different experiences and had a lot of fun together in the process.
Students from Monarch Pointe attended G.O.A.L. Sports camp and combined sports activities with hands-on science projects, and kids from eight properties participated in a three-day AC Green Youth Foundation Leadership Camp. Volunteers from the Orange County School of the Arts provided a Summer Theater Camp for students at Compass Rose, and take a look at what happened when three students won a competition to attend the Building Industry Association’s (BIA) of Southern California’s Junior Builder Camp.
Students at Clark Commons are headed back to school with new backpacks and free haircuts. And, we closed out the summer with National Night Out, an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and getting to know neighbors.
We’re so grateful to all our amazing partners – volunteers, parents, local small businesses, nonprofits, community partners and many more – for their generosity in helping us provide meaningful, relevant experiences to our students.