Summer camp provides fun and learning

Tierney Eden, a Mid-Del teacher, helps students make an African thumb drum last week during a summer camp hosted by Thick Descriptions. (Photo by Jeff Harrison)

Thick Descriptions and local teachers share interactive lessons on sound and audio

By Jeff Harrison
Managing Editor

Summer break is a time for children to have fun. But experts say that time away from the classroom can also lead to loss of academic skills and knowledge, also knows as the summer learning gap or summer slide.

Midwest City children make an African thumb drum last week during a summer camp hosted by Thick Descriptions. (Photo by Jeff Harrison)

Midwest City children are combating the learning setback with a fun and educational summer camp at the Neighborhoods in Action building. Thick Descriptions, a local non-profit, led a camp last week that included educational projects, field trips and activities.

“We target low income neighborhoods and try to decrease the learning gap during school breaks,” said Mary Bowler with Thick Descriptions. “We have fun activities that help them learn so they aren’t as behind when they go back to school.”

That task is even more important this year due to COVID-19. Many school districts, including Mid-Del, canceled the final two months of school.

“It’s very important this year because these kids haven’t been in school since March,” Bowler said. “Getting them back into having a routine will be beneficial.”

The group went on field trips to Martin Nature Park, the Banjo Museum, the Museum of Osteology as well as roller skating. At each of the trips they completed projects related to the Music and Audio theme.

After visiting the Banjo Museum on Thursday morning, they learned how to make their own musical instruments – the African thumb drum and a harmonica. They also learned how to make a radio boom box.

The summer camp is free and open to Midwest City children ages 8 – 13. The group of 15-20 campers receive breakfast, lunch and a snack.

Teachers from Mid-Del schools lead the camp and activities for the children. This year’s group included Jenna Berens, Tierney Eden, and Brandy Myles.

The staff has implemented safety precautions due to the coronavirus. They conduct temperature checks for all campers as they arrive in the morning and leave in the afternoon. Everyone is required to wear a mask and follow handwashing and sanitation guidelines. They have also reduced the number of children at the camp to allow for more social distancing.

Thick Descriptions hosts camps throughout the summer in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Boley. The Neighborhoods in Action staff will also offer a summer camp through the end of July.

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