Hello everyone! My name is Yulissa Hidalgo and the purpose of this blog is to inspire all of you to get involved with Camp City Year this February Vacation. For those of you who are not aware, Camp City Year provides students in Manchester with an opportunity to make new friends, learn more about a topic in science, discover new pieces of City Year culture and values, and most importantly, enjoy themselves during their winter break. This year, Camp City Year will be held at two of the elementary schools we partner with, Parker-Varney and Beech Street.
The camp’s overall theme this year is “Exploring the Earth.” Students will be learning about deserts, woodlands, forests, and oceans. One example of a fantastic rain forest lesson, with a focus on art, is students making their own rain sticks. By using paper towel rolls, beans, toothpicks, markers, and tape, students will learn how texture can create sound.
As I continue to work with my team on camp, I can’t help but reminisce on my elementary school experience and opportunities I might have had to participate in such programs. Quite honestly, I cannot remember my family being able to afford any extracurricular activities during school vacations or the summer. Similarly, most of the students we serve and those attending our camp share similar struggles.
For instance, the percentage of students at our partner schools who receive free or reduced lunch is quite significant. Some mornings, during my check-ins with students of various grade levels, students have admitted to not having had dinner or breakfast. By participating in our camp, these kids will be guaranteed breakfast, snack and lunch for four days.
Overall, camps will be an unforgettable experience for everyone who contributes towards its success. I was reading Hillary Clinton’s It Takes a Village recently and one of the chapter headings includes the following Greek proverb: “A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit.” This quote speaks volumes to me because planting symbolizes our unified efforts to guide youth towards a positive future.
I look forward to having you join me in some manner, whether big or small through monetary or food donations, to ensure that our students enjoy their winter vacation among positive role models. If you are interested in making a cash, food, or supply donation to our Camp City Year, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s a beautiful thing to live another day and serve our communities.