Kids ages 3-12 are enjoying a variety of activities, field trips and entertainment this summer at the J.D.’s Center for Hope summer camp.
Members of the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Council came out on Monday to host crafts. Whitney Hadnot, 7, and Jordan Trotty, 8, worked on their Starring Me projects, a paper filled with information and art about them.
“It’s about our signature and all of us, about our stuff,” Whitney said.
Jordan said she enjoyed the camp much more than school. A couple tables over, 8-year-old Makarios Holman and 6-year-old Clifton Kibble were fast at work coloring their Minion coloring pages. The campers recently went to see “Despicable Me 3” together.
“I love the field trips,” Makarios said.
“I like the snacks,” Clifton said.
Aubrey Bailey, 10, and Arianna Lavane, 11, were working on a scrapbook. Using a lunch bag, glue stick and patterned paper, the girls decorated together. Then ADAC employees took the campers’ pictures and printed them to add to their books.
“ADAC has been my favorite part of camp so far,” Aubrey said.
“I really like putting the paper in the book,” Arianna said.
ADAC prevention specialist Jakoya Grimes said the council wanted to provide the kids with something safe and fun to do this summer.
“We want to reach out to all the kids,” Grimes said. “We want to let them know who we are in the community.”
The council also visits schools around the county for 30 minutes every week. Being with some of her students in this vein lets her see what they are like outside school and how creative they can be.
“I love everything about this,” Grimes said. “I love arts and crafts. I love seeing my students. A lot of these kids we only see during the school year.”
Center director Stephanie Olford said the summer camp and the after-school program are ways to be a resource for the community.
“We implement education like math, reading and science,” Olford said. “We also do activities like going to the movies.”
The campers will get a chance to visit NASA and Main Event in Austin and spend a week in Houston.
Head teacher April Murphy said the summer camp is an opportunity to teach the children that education can be fun.
“That’s what I like more about the summer camp because during the after-school program, we’re focusing on homework. During summer camp, we can actually do experiments and let them see that every day you’re going to have to use math. You’re going to have to have reading but make it fun,” Murphy said.
“We’re here to show them love and teach them how to work as teams. I enjoy this because I just love children.”
The camp is all full this summer. Every year, registration opens in April for the six-week camp. Follow the center’s Facebook page for more information.
“I just love children,” Olford said. “I want the kids to be in a safe environment, structured, and that’s what we do here as a staff.”