Summer Program Incorporates Strengths and Service

Summer Program Incorporates Strengths and Service

Camp Covington 2023 was a triumph across the district; on average, serving over 600 students on a daily basis, with a greater number of students reached throughout summer at all sites, including the middle school, high school, alternative program, and five elementary schools.

A multitude of tremendous staff, administration, and partners collaborated to provide engaging activities and learning opportunities throughout summer. This was no different at John G. Carlisle Elementary School.

During Camp Covington 2023: Under the “C” at John G. Carlisle (JGC), strengths-based learning was an integral part of each day. Camp Covington staff at JGC looked beyond the academics, fitness, and enrichment already occurring during programming and incorporated strengths-based learning that would not only be memorable but also important for students to experience. 

Each day brought a new theme, including kindness, sharing, respect, thankfulness, and friendship. These themes, as well as other social-emotional and strengths-based learning elements were incorporated during morning meetings and afternoon assemblies with students and staff. During morning meetings, daily themes were introduced, as well as interactive, dynamic activities to prepare the minds and hearts of students for a day of learning and new experiences.

Julia McGivern, district librarian and Camp Covington teacher, incorporated service-learning as part of the daily themes. Students in fourth and fifth grade collected toiletry items during programming and learned about a neighboring nonprofit that serves as a safe haven for unhoused individuals, Fairhaven Rescue Mission. 

Integrating a math-a-thon into the project, students held a friendly competition to see which grade level could collect more toiletry items for Fairhaven Rescue Mission. They also completed several math problems (quiz bowl style) to see which team could answer the most problems correctly. While one grade collected more items, the other grade took the math edge. 

At the end of Camp Covington, students were able to visit the nonprofit. Executive Director Alan Johnson led the students through a tour and answered questions. From this project and their visit, students learned what it means to learn and serve. Students were genuinely interested and curious about the place and topic; one fifth grade student said it “was the best trip ever.” 

The project was eye-opening to many of the students. Michael Wesson, camp coordinator, said the students “left understanding two important things. First, unfortunate situations can happen to anyone. They also learned that somewhere there are always people willing and able to help. Even fourth and fifth graders like them.” 

Wesson was thrilled with the outcome of the project and the intentional incorporation of strengths-based learning during the summer program. “I love having staff and a team that helps balance our program with memorable, in-depth learning opportunities.”

He plans to continue with the strengths-based learning during the school year and future summer programming.

Category: Education
« Back to News