SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
The Schriever School Age Care program invited Ellicott summer camp participants to the installation for a trio of events to enhance community relationships.
The two-week Summer Enrichment Program provides children classes and activities to do during their summer break for the second time.
”During the Summer Enrichment Program, the kids have learning opportunities at Ellicott, but also have the chance to come to Schriever to participate in our three-day event,” said Mary Barkley, Airman and Family Services flight chief. “We are trying to stay in line with leadership’s vision to have events where we work with our neighborhood school and also showing there’s a need for youth programs during the summer. Our goal was to ensure the kids had fun, but also had learning experiences. This was a break away from academics and something they wouldn’t normally do at school.”
Approximately 119 children between the ages of 7 and 18 attended the event.
The first day kicked off with Olympic inspired events Tuesday, June 26. The children were divided into groups and were rotated according to different activities, which were held in the fitness center and the outdoor running track. Schriever volunteers led the activities according to event stations.
“We looked for volunteers who actually had the skills in the areas they were assisting,” Barkley said. “We had an Airman that had been doing track and field for 20 years. It’s good to have people with experience teach the kids different skill sets. It makes things easier and provides more organization.”
During the first day, students participated in a wide variety of games including capture the flag, dodgeball, relay races and shot put.
Events during the program will also take place June 28 and 29.
“We hired a magician and are also offering resiliency classes Wednesday,” Barkley said. “A field day will take place Thursday, which involves bouncy houses, tennis, basketball and a team-building exercise.”
Parents in attendance had high praise for the program.
“This is our second time being a part of this,” said Sandra Gil Chacon, Ellicott School student parent. “I know kids tend to forget material over the summer, so having this program reinforces academic material, as well as providing fun activities for them to do. As a parent, I find this to be nice for the community to have this outlet for the kids and I think they should continue to do this program over the years.”
Barkley thought the collaborative events not only provided great opportunities for the youth, but served to build professional and personal relationship between Schriever and Ellicott.
“Everybody had a huge part in making this happen. I think there’s so much value to it,” Barkley said. “Having that socialization piece is so important for youth and they don’t have that as often during the summer time. It also gives parents a break and continues to build that relationship with our neighborhood school. This is the fun part of the job for me; I love working with the kids and being able to see them enjoy themselves.”