Camp HOPE Cincy Community Partnerships
Camp HOPE Cincy : The Utility of Community Partnerships to Educate, Train and Inspire Youth and Influence Futures
Camp HOPE Cincy’s Summer Program, an outreach investment through Lincoln Heights Outreach, Inc., has partnered with Lincoln Heights Missionary Baptist Church, Princeton City Schools, the Village of Lincoln Heights, and Whole Again Food Program to host a summer camp for students in the Village of Lincoln Heights and area schools. The goal is to increase the learning potential for children by providing activities to strengthen academic and social skills and promote emotional well-being. Campers meet Monday through Friday from 8:45 until 4:00 at Lincoln Heights Elementary School. Though the act of hosting a summer program is not necessarily an innovative idea, Camp HOPE Cincy’s approach does warrant close consideration. This program builds upon the strength and power of community engagement and embraces the responsibility to educate, train, and inspire our youth.
Since its inception in 2007, the Camp HOPE Cincy program has offered hope to its campers by highlighting opportunities possible for everyone. Students’ curriculum emphasizes a relationship between them and the communities beyond the confines of current economic and environmental circumstances, guiding them in thinking critically, making appropriate decisions, and solving problems. Each week, campers engage in learning experiences related to the overall theme: Our World and Finding My Place in It. To meet the expectations noted in Camp HOPE’s purpose statement, the camp’s program utilizes a thematic, interdisciplinary approach focused on improvement and enrichment in foundational math skills, reading fluency/comprehension, and enhancement of social skills in various settings and situations through use of character education. Enrichment activities encourage the development of social, emotional, and cognitive skills through engagement in weekly field trips, structured play, drama, art, music, gardening, and swimming twice each week. Two nutritious meals are provided daily through Whole Again Food Program and an afternoon snack each day.
Following the constructivist theory of teaching and learning, Camp HOPE Cincy counselors give students time and guidance in identifying and understanding what they already know. Additionally, counselors incorporate scaffolding strategies that aid students in making connections between prior knowledge and new information through questioning, exploring, and assessing. These activities encourage campers to see themselves in different roles and with varying levels of responsibility. Adjustments in understandings are made through reflection and discussions that help campers bridge their learning to world-applicable realities.
Certified teachers and paraprofessionals lead instructional and social activities. The benefits of this partnership are twofold: students and instructors are familiar with expectations and secondly, teachers are knowledgeable in “best practices” approaches incorporated into all camp activities. Additionally, Camp HOPE Cincy reaches out to area universities to engage future teachers and college students in its program to work as camp aides. Through the use of aides as mentors, the young campers are better able to relate to someone closer in age and envision their own futures in different ways.
The benefit to camp aides is profound as well. In providing service to Camp HOPE Cincy, these prospective teacher candidates engage in hands-on teaching experience where they are able to apply theory to practice with guidance from educators. Given the demands of the changing dynamics in the nation’s schools, it is imperative that teacher candidates develop strong teacher efficacy to achieve the desired outcomes of professional success and improved student achievement. The nation is in need of good teachers whose beliefs and behaviors demonstrate their capacity to confront the challenges of today’s schools. By including university students and future teacher candidates in our camp program, Camp HOPE Cincy aims to ensure the success of future generations of both students and teachers.
Camp aides are college students and prospective teacher candidates from the Ohio State University (OSU), University of Cincinnati (UC), and Wright State (WSU). These students serve an important function to the camp’s program by providing appropriate interventions, co-teaching, and support.
The research on school-community partnership gives evidence to the positive influence on student and family engagement. Camp HOPE Cincy fosters the relationship between the school, home, and community stakeholders in an effort to promote positive change for the Lincoln Heights community and the next generation of teachers. The mission of Lincoln Heights Baptist Church, Princeton City School District, the Village of Lincoln Heights community, Whole Again Foods and vested stakeholders takes a bold step toward confronting the inherit challenges of such a complex endeavor. The long-term benefits of investing in our youth, however, far outweigh them. We build HOPE in the future.
For information on how you can get involved… Contact: Lathel Bryant
Executive Director, LHOI
Camp Hope Cincy
ACA Accredited Camp
9991 Wayne Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45215
American Camp Association
5000 State Road 67 North, Martinsville, IN 46151-7902 • 765.342.8456 • 765.342.2065 fax • www.ACAcamps.org
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