Even though school has just wrapped up another year, students are still eager to learn with the added bonus of fun.
Ann Tarascio started a math and science camp held at Newberry Academy 10 years ago because she wanted to help young people to continue learning during the summer in a fun and exciting atmosphere.
Tarascio used to teach at Newberry Middle and while she is now in Massachusetts, she still flies down each year to lead children from four-years-old through fifth grade.
Her daughter, Caroline Altman, also helps out with camp. She is a student at College of Charleston and attended Newberry Academy all 12 years of school. Altman enjoyed the camp when she was younger and enjoys it now as an assistant.
She likes working and helping the kids, she says.
Tarascio has also had other people help out throughout the years and plans to keep on teaching. She actually went to former headmaster Bob Dawkins and asked to hold it at the academy and when he let her try it out, the camp just continued.
Over the years, Tarascio has combined math and science and all ages work together which Tarascio likes because the older students helps the younger ones and everyone learns to work together.
This year, Tarascio has started a doll camp for girls who bring in their own dolls like the American Girl dolls. They make outfits, have fashion shows and just have fun playing with their dolls and making friendships.
In addition to the girls who make their dolls clothes with Tarascio’s assistance, Tarascio spends most of the winter searching ideas and making clothes for the girls to have for their dolls as well.
Tarascio actually spends much of her free time researching ideas and planning experiments for camp and while it may seem like a second job, she enjoys it and plans to keep doing it.
The camp this year has on average 18 kids in the morning and 23 in the afternoon. Some students come all day or half a day and some may come for just a day or the whole four days of camp which started Monday and goes through Thursday.
While the dolls camp is in the afternoon, the math and science is in the morning.
The children have made their own play dough and sidewalk chalk, marbleized paper and also have plans to make their own paper, performed many science experiments, incorporated math and science with blocks and expanded creatively by making things out of small blocks.
For instance, one group of boys, built a city as they call it with scorpions, other animals and other designs. They then used their imagination to simulate military people in battle. Of course, all this is done safely as Tarascio does enforce rules and regulations.
Altman recalls a science experiment she did when she was in camp and that the campers will do later in the week.
She calls it diaper math and campers test the weight of diapers by filling diapers with differing amounts. Altman says it’s a fun experiment and it’s fun to watch the kids see how much they can fill them.
Talascio also teaches middle school concepts in math but on a level that elementary students can understand things. One concept she shows is about square numbers and she uses blocks.
The students that join camp are from all over the county including Prosperity-Rikard, Pomaria, Newberry Elementary and Boundary Street.