Parents turn onto Frog Pond Road to drop their children off for an engaging Summer Learning Initiative Camp (SLIC) at Woodstock Elementary School. Most of these children have been identified as kids who would benefit from staying in school over the summer to prevent learning loss. The children are led by Renee Suprenaunt, a well-respected and highly regarded teacher in the Woodstock community. They learn math, science, reading, music, and language arts until 11:30. Then these kids have an opportunity to join the Y community at Camp Woodstock for the afternoon where they build relationships with new faces as they swim, boat, climb, laugh, and play screaming toes.
This collaboration with our local school has provided an opportunity for children with parents who work a solution for summer childcare and the opportunity for their kids to achieve academic success at school. Most kids come from families where single parents or both parents need to work to meet day to day financial challenges. The 3 morning a week SLIC program was not an option for some of these families. Now these parents can have their kids learn at school and take advantage of the benefits of camp. We pick the children up from school on our little yellow bus 3 days a week and give the families an option for camp Monday and Friday when the SLIC program is not offered.
This collaboration has increased enrollment in the SLIC program from 40 to over 75 kids, and our Day Camp program has almost doubled. It has also opened doors for our community to see the magic of Camp Woodstock and the Y community at large. After a conversation with a local School Board Member in the pick-up line at camp, a need in the community was shared with me. This led to 25 of our Leaders-In-Training painting the Woodstock Elementary school which would not have been completed due to the school’s budget constraints. We are excited to develop deeper relationships with our local school and neighbors but also looking forward to more opportunities to collaborate with local leaders once the Regional Community YMCA is completed.