DPS Foundation President Glenda Price Salutes Summer Camps

t may be hard to believe after the brutal winter we had, but summer is almost here. And with that comes the decision for many parents of how to occupy their children's time during summer vacation.

Organized summer activities for youth have been shown to be critically important to the retention of knowledge and skills gained during the school year, as well as the development of new skills and perspectives that arise from varied activities. This is especially true for inner city youth whose options are limited in their communities. Too many young people lose much of the academic gains of the school year, and do not benefit from interaction with different people in new environments.

A few months ago, Metro Parent Publishing Group sponsored a Camp Expo in association with the Michigan Science Center. More than 30 summer programs shared information about their opportunities for young people during the summer of 2014. These ranged from robotics and music to horseback riding, golf, sports and general summertime activities. Many options exist in southeast Michigan for the type of summertime engagement that expands students' horizons and assists them in retaining their academic knowledge. Unfortunately the costs of many of these programs take them out of reach for many Detroit Public Schools students. Fortunately there is another option.

Detroit Public Schools has a summer camp facility. Dr. Burt R. Shurly Camp is located about 65 miles from Detroit and is offered free to DPS students who are eligible for Federal Title 1 support. This is a great summer option that is underutilized because too many students lack the necessary camp supplies. Therefore the Detroit Public Schools Foundation is seeking camp sponsorships to provide students with the supplies that they need to have a week of educational fun. A $75 donation to the Foundation will provide a camp kit consisting of a swimsuit, pool shoes, sleeping bag, soap, towel, wash cloth, toothpaste, comb, brush, shampoo, deodorant and insect repellent.

I remember my summer camp experiences as an elementary school student. Participating in arts and crafts activities, hiking, building camp fires, learning to swim, playing volleyball and being away from home helped me to build self confidence, make new friends, learn to make decisions without my mother being there and just have fun. These are benefits of summer camp that we should want for all children. The $75 cost is modest, but the benefits are huge.


Please go to DetroitPSFoundation.org and make your donation to send a student to camp this summer.

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