This summer camp in the East Lake neighborhood will be held in the East Lake Courts Recreation and Community Center every week beginning May 28 from Tues-Sat (9a - 5p). This camp is named in honor of Ms. Lawrence (pictured above), a longtime resident of East Lake Courts, who started the camp about 10 years ago as a way to create a safe and fun place for kids to go during summer break.
Ms. Lawrence has experienced several health challenges in the last few months and as a result, Grove Street Settlement House has stepped up to provide technical assistance along with other community groups to ensure this camp will open on May 28th until August 7th and then transition to an after-school program. This day camp will serve approximately 40 kids between the ages of 5 and 11 and is provided FREE OF CHARGE. The mornings will be spent strengthening math and writing skills; reading skills will be addressed through the ALEXIA computer-based reading program. In the afternoons, every week will have a different focus (arts & crafts, VBS, drama/performance, etc). Because East Lake is situated in a vast food desert with no grocery stores close by, a large community garden is being installed in May and the children/volunteers/community residents will manage the garden all summer and share in the produce grown.
A healthy breakfast and lunch are being provided to all children who enroll; a snack will also be offered in the afternoon.
What We NeedWe are hoping to raise at least $2500 initially. These funds will be used to buy supplies for the camp (paper, markers, glue, etc.). We are also hoping to take the kids on at least two field trips (Hunter Museum and Nature Center) - field trips require renting a bus, providing lunch, etc. If we raise enough money, we would also like to pay a small stipend to 2-4 graduate students to serve as facilitators of the camp throughout the summer.
The ImpactMs. Lawrence's East Lake Summer Camp will provide a fun, safe, and educational option for children and their families. For many families in low-income communities, affordable and accessible summer camp options are very limited. This camp provides one no-cost resource for this neighborhood and reduces the number of young people with no focused or positive activity to engage in over the summer months. Low-income children between the ages of 5 and 11 will directly benefit from this camp. Indirect benefits are the reinforcement of basic math, reading, and literacy skills. More direct benefits are to create a positive and fun place for children and their caregivers to participate in - one goal for the camp is to increase parental involvement over the course of the summer. For the larger community, neighborhood safety is a citywide concern - this camp addresses one aspect of this concern.
The camp needs volunteers in 3 hour blocks of time - if you can help or if your church or civic group is interested, visit our Facebook page for more details. Search for "Ms. Lawrence's East Lake Summer Camp" on Facebook.