A mission, a ministry

Lare Williams, left, and Barbara Chapman, right, stand with some of the materials that will be used to work with children this summer during the camp.

NEWBERRY — The Newberry County Literacy Council is setting out to engage young minds this summer with its 2015 summer camp set to take place from June 8 to June 20 at St. Matthews Baptist Church on Boundary Street in Newberry.

Hours for the camp will be 9 a.m. to noon.

Barbara Chapman, executive director of the Literacy Council, said that the camp has normally been held at Wise Street but the opportunity presented itself this year to hold it at St. Matthew’s.

For children in the Wise Street area who want to attend the camp, Chapman said they will be riding that way to pick them up so that they can attend.

The camp, which has been held for about five years, was started because there was a need for children to have things to do during summer vacations.

“We wanted to do something that would kind of keep their minds active in the reading and in the math so when they go back to school, they still have some of that study time done,” Chapman said. “We’re introducing them to new, hands-on things.”

As part of the camp, the children will go on trips, including one to a water park at Fort Jackson.

Chapman said they have had guest speakers volunteer their time to encourage the youth that there was something better for them in life and to keep learning.

Other curriculum will include troubleshooting in math, as well as some regrouping and fractions. Students will also focus on their writing skills on all levels as well as cursive.

Chapman said they also will use a program sponsored through TD Bank for another year.

Campers will receive a pamphlet to log 10 books they read between June and August. At the completion of those books, they will receive $10 from TD Bank, which will open an account for them.

As a healthy lifestyles aspect to the camp, Chapman said they will do a tennis activity with volunteer Joe MacDonald as instructor.

“We were fortunate enough to get tennis rackets and some balls through a small grant last year,” Chapman said.

Other activities will include volleyball, dodge ball, line-dancing and easy movement classes.

Lare Williams, a retired teacher, will be helping out with the summer program.

“I’m delighted when I see their eyes sparkle with the experiences and the enrichment we try to give to them,” Williams said, adding that as an educator, it is her goal to help children realize that learning can be fun and exciting. “Hopefully it’ll stimulate and transfer over into the regular classroom and teachers will be happy that we did this.”

Chapman referenced the motto of the Newberry County Literacy Council that says “Each one, Teach one.”

“Our ultimate goal is to keep those wonderful minds charged up,” Chapman said. “It’s a mission, it’s a ministry.”