With school approaching, it might be time for kids to warm up that brain a bit. One way to accomplish that takes place next week at the Carbondale Public Library, 5 N Main St.
It’s called Summer Enrichment Camp, and it will be held Monday through Friday, Aug. 12-16, for kids in grades three to six.
There will be two sessions each day. In STEM Camp (10 a.m. to noon Monday through Wednesday, 12:30-2 p.m. Thursday and 1-2:30 p.m. Friday), campers will embark on a make-believe space mission, exploring the hidden galaxies of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In order to get back to planet Earth, they must conduct experiments.
In Foreign Language and Culture Camp (12:30-2:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 2:30- 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday), campers will journey on a make-believe tour around the world. They will be introduced to the basics of Spanish, French and German. They might even travel back in time to learn about the ancient Greeks and Romans. On day one, they receive mock passports that they can fill up with stamps each day.
The Summer Enrichment Camp is offered free of charge.
It is the brain child of Kyla Weckel, a high school student who lives in Carbondale.
“I have created a program to help young students combat the ‘summer slide’ phenomenonm “ she said.
Weckel founded the program and designed the curriculum. Other high school and college students have volunteered to work the program with her, including AJ Papp, Madison Cost, Abby Bowen, Will Mchale, Shayla Salvatori and Bryan Sekelsky.
“Stephanie Spaid from the Carbondale library has been so helpful,” Weckel added. “This program would be impossible without her mentorship.”
Weckel’s program is an outgrowth of a free tutoring program she set up at the library.
“The students I work with are overcoming reading anxiety, test-taking phobias and attention deficit hyperactive disorder,” she said. “Others are learning how to engage themselves in their teacher’s lessons, how to ask for help, how to catch up when they’ve missed classes and how to motivate themselves.”
Weckel believes these kids can learn and excel, “but we can’t do that if the students don’t want to listen. If they don’t believe they are smart, they will have no desire to learn. My programs transform these self-destructive thinking patterns into ‘I can!’ attitudes.”
More than improving grades, Weckel said, the students are gaining confidence in their intellectual ability.
“Changing the way these students think about themselves turns them into engaged and excited learners,” she said. “After realizing their potential, their achievements will continue to grow.”
Beginning this fall, Weckel will open more locations for tutoring.
“Because the space is free and the system is so kind to us, I am planning on keeping all locations in the Lackawanna Public Library System,” she noted.
According to Weckel, the camp classroom setting is very leisurely. The goal is to enrich young minds with subjects and concepts that they have not yet had the chance to study.
“I believe that by stimulating their natural curiosities, they will gain an intellectual vitality about them and become lifelong learners,” she said.
“Dr. Joseph Marzzacco of the Carbondale City Council is sponsoring the camp financially, but, we are still looking for more sponsors, as well.”
Students enrolled in both sessions should bring a lunch. Students will have a 30-minute break Monday through Thursday, but no refreshments or snacks will be provided.
For registration and inquiries, call 570-561-3736 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.