Summer Camps Heat Up for Kids

By Emily Droege edroege@examiner-enterprise.com

Bartlesville Public School students will have multiple opportunities to learn in fun and engaging ways this summer, thanks to Bartlesville Education Promise, a nonprofit organization set up to improve educational opportunities and graduation rates.

Bartlesville Education Promise Chairman Martin Garber said the summer camps are a great way for Bartlesville students to learn while still having fun.

“Our summer programs are designed to stimulate student learning during the summer. Too often when students have three to four months “off” they do not continue to stimulate learning,” Garber said. “That is why we try to provide learning opportunities. This is especially important for “at risk” students.”

Beginning in June, the popular STEM Camp held at Tri County Tech will be open to dozens of students, and themes include art, chef, coding, drones, engineering, robotics and science. If interested contact Kerensa Kester at 918-331-3375.

“For our STEM camps, over 80 percent of students want to come back next year and every year the program has grown,” Garber said.

Junior and seniors looking for some pointers writing college entrance essays will want to sign up for the BHS Writing Camp. Here, they will learn to write engaging and descriptive essays for college entrance. The two-hour sessions will take place June 10-13 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The cost is $10. If interested contact Bartlesville High School.

The rite of passage for a middle school student becoming a full-fledged high schooler can be scary. Unfamiliar surroundings, the fear of anonymity, and higher expectations raise the anxiety leading up to the high school experience.

To make the process less overwhelming, Bartlesville’s secondary schools will offer transition camps this summer to help students entering middle school or high school.

Transition camps will be held at Central, Madison and the high school. These camps are open to newly enrolled students to each school. The high school fundamental will be held in July and will introduce new students to the high school campus, plus focus on academic skills.

Classes will focus on how to stay involved, how to understand personal learning styles, develop presentation skills and how to utilize study skills, Garber said.

“Students will also explore higher education options. Field trips will also be taken to area colleges and schools,” he said.

Meanwhile, the transition camps for middle school students will be held in late July and early August. These two camps are open to sixth grade students going to either Central Middle School or Madison Middle School. Registration is $10 but the camps are free, Garber said.

“The response by parents on transition camps are excellent,” he said. “These camps allow students to meet other students from merged schools and parents especially like to learn what is expected at the new school. The students say how neat it is to learn how to open their lockers.”

The ever-popular art camp taught by a Bartlesville art teacher will be available, too. The sessions will be held at the Bartlesville Boys and Girls Club during June and July, Garber said.

Garber also said that an elementary summer reading program, where teachers work with local organizations to encourage students to continue reading through the summer, will also take place.

“Bartlesville teachers will start working with summer school students, and then go to the YMCA, Boys & Girls Club and other locations to visit with students and encourage them to read. This program is primarily directed toward elementary students, however it is open to students of all ages,” Garber said.

BEP is also sponsoring two new programs, Extreme STEAM and the ATLAS Project. Extreme STEAM will allow 60 students to attend a three-week program taught by the staff of the Gifted and Talented programs.

“This program will be for incoming 4th and 5th grades. Class room studies will focus on thought provoking subjects and will incorporate in class science, technology, engineering, art and math programs using experiments and real life learning experiences. Each Friday, the students will take field trips to provide extra learning experiences,” Garber said.

ATLAS Project. The ATLAS Project is being developed and staffed by Bartlesville Public Schools, he said. This is a year-long project, but will start in early August, and kindergarten through 5th grade students are invited to participate.

This pilot project will be taught by Bartlesville teachers and support will be provided by professionals from Grand Lake Mental Health, Garber said.

“The program is designed to help students develop the academic and social skills they need to be successful. The focus will be to help students make progress in the following areas, attendance, academics and social-emotional learning. After a half -day at Ranch Heights Elementary, students will go to the Boys and Girls Club and teachers and coaches will work with them on group relations,” Garber said.

The Bartlesville Education Promise is managed by its 13 member board of directors. All programs are funded with private donations from individuals, foundations and corporations. The primary goal of BEP is to provide opportunities for every student to graduate, he said.

“As the Bartlesville school staff recognizes the need for extra programs and Bartlesville donors continue to recognize the importance of a quality educational program, we will continue to expand,” Garber said. “It is encouraging, we are seeing improvement. Our graduation improvement tells the story. We have increased from 83 percent to 89 percent in the last three years. Our third grade reading improvement is also a very positive story.”

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