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Our summer program, PRIDE Camp, just concluded, and we’re so proud of all our campers! PRIDE camp is the summer version of our after-school mentoring program, PRIDE Academy. We’ve designed it to ensure that local elementary students not only have a safe, fun, and healthy place to spend their summers but also guide them in developing their intellectual, emotional, and social skills for the upcoming school year. Read the stories below to meet some our campers!
Meet Exiel! Exiel began our program as a shy first grader with a big smile. He’s always been a hard worker, but language barriers hindered Exiel from seeing his potential at first. Luckily, by midyear we began to see some positive changes. His schoolwork improved, and he became much more comfortable with the other students. Finally, at the end of the school year Exiel was completing all his homework, enthusiastically participating in class, coming to school prepared and ready to learn, and making friends no problem. According to his first grade teacher, “His confidence has skyrocketed.” Exiel enjoys hanging out in the gym and game room during the program, especially when he’s learning karate. In spite of the barriers that impeded him early, Exiel has begun to show us just a little bit more of how great he is!
The 21st Century family portrait has changed from the traditional structure of earlier days. More and more parents are depending on extended supports like PRIDE Academy to help meet the needs of their families. Here at PRIDE, we are more than willing to take on that role.
Meet the Miller-Everhart Family! Olivia and Aniah are identical twin girls to their working mom, Brandi. The girls have been in the program for 2 years and according to their mom, they are reaping the benefits! “The after school program has been a very impactful experience for my daughters and I. The extra assistance with homework and building their confidence is priceless. For the past two years, both Aniah and Olivia struggled with reading and math. However with the support of this program they both passed the third grade guarantee test and were promoted to 4th grade! I truly appreciate the support this program and staff has provided for family.”
Meet Isiah! Isiah has been coming to P.R.I.D.E. summer camp and the after-school program longer than many of our other students. He exemplifies the E in our program’s moniker, Effort, because he always gives his best effort in both his schoolwork and his attitude towards the other students. You can usually find him reading a book or drawing in between activities. He’s what P.R.I.D.E. is all about!
Meet Chris! Chris first came to P.R.I.D.E. as one among a group of students who attend P.R.I.D.E. via a special arrangement with the Hope House Mission in Middletown. He quickly demonstrated his enthusiasm by befriending the other children in his group, and he’s always the first to volunteer when one of the mentors, teachers, or other campers needs help. He even tries to help others if they don’t the rules or procedures for an activity. We’re happy to have him as part of our P.R.I.D.E. family!
Meet Keltie! Keltie is one of our most respectful students, and she always goes out of her way to welcome new campers. She recently demonstrated her athletic skills at our talent show, where she performed an exciting cheer routine. She also likes to express herself in dance performances, and she consistently excels at her school work, even helping the other students if they have trouble. She’s sure to become a role model for the younger kids and help them achieve P.R.I.D.E. in their own lives!
We admit that we wouldn’t be successful without strong partnerships! We rely on our partners to contribute their expertise to each child’s well-being. Whether it’s demonstrating the perfect yoga form, making sure students sing in tune, or offering a high five after completing a science experiment, our partners are building invaluable relationships with the students.
Let Roni Hairston, Speech Pathologist from Abilities First share her PRIDE Academy experience:
“My story is simple, the look on a young person’s face when they realize they CAN read or they CAN write a sentence is a precious. When a child struggles throughout the school day to attempt to digest the material presented in school, the last thing they want to do is sit down at a table after school and do homework. The PRIDE program sets up situations where the partners are able to build relationships with the students. This relationship brings about trust,… and the student begins to trust themselves. They begin to believe that they CAN!”
Copyright 2017 Community Building Institute of Middletown.