posted at 10:01 am Mon Oct 31st, 2011 by (WherezIt_Staff)
The Vermont Humanities Council today announced that for the second consecutive year, the Comcast Foundation has awarded a $10,000 grant in support of VHC's summer Humanities Camp program.
The program, which has run since 1997, takes place each summer in schools statewide for students aged 11-14. Ten Vermont schools took part in the camps in 2011.
Schools participating in the 2011 camps include Blue Mountain Union (Wells River); Edmunds Middle School (Burlington); Fair Haven Grade School; Milton Middle School; Poultney High School; Richford Jr./Sr. High School; Saint Albans City School; Stowe Middle School; Waits River Valley School; and West Rutland School.
"Comcast is committed to giving back to and enriching the communities where our customers and employees live and work," said Mary McLaughlin, Comcast Senior Vice President for the Western New England Region, which includes Vermont. "We are proud to again partner with the Vermont Humanities Council in making our neighborhoods stronger in a way that connects, motivates and enriches us all for today and tomorrow."
Humanities Camps are week-long intensive summer day camps that focus on reading, discussion, and fun activities that bring learning to life for students in a relaxed group setting. The camps introduce youth to the world of literature and ideas, fostering self-expression in a safe, nurturing environment. Camps run between mid June and late July.
"Comcast's ongoing support helps VHC make an enormous difference to these students and schools around Vermont," said VHC's executive director Peter Gilbert. "We are most grateful for their help, especially in these difficult times."
Since its founding in 1999, the Comcast Foundation has distributed more than $90 million to organizations in the communities nationwide that Comcast serves.
Thematically based, the camps revolve around one of three themes chosen by VHC and selected by applicant schools. The themes in 2011 included Artists and Visionaries, Photos That Changed History, and Vermont Time Traveler. Students each received a set of books, related to their chosen camp theme, to read and to bring home to keep.
Reading lies at the heart of each camp. Participants also take part in fun, hands-on activities built around the reading, such as computer research, writing, and creative art projects. Campers in 2011 met with photographers, artists, and sheep farmers. They went on field trips to museums and farms and visited college campuses, opening windows to new possibilities. Most camps closed with a culminating event for students to share what they had learned. The activities, both inside and outside the school, help build students' self esteem as they make connections between the words on the page and the larger world.
Humanities Camps has been one of VHC's most successful programs. Camp week is often a profound experience for both students and teachers, whose interaction transcends the traditional classroom. The impact of Humanities Camps extends beyond the duration of the week of camp as campers bring what they learned into their new school year, and through ongoing strengthened teacher-student and peer relationships and changed attitudes.
"Humanities Camp is a wonderful, positive, and powerful experience," said one teacher. "It is great to work with students without the confines of schedule, grades, and testing. Sometimes I learn more about a student over the course of the week than I do over the course of a year." Another teacher remarked, "By the end of the week, the students seemed much more confident and were able to articulate and express their ideas."
"Over the years, schools report on the tremendous impact Humanities Camp has on their students," said Jan Steinbauer, VHC's Director of Literacy Programs. "Students grow not only in reading and writing skills, but they are empowered through discussion and gain self-confidence so they can progress academically, take on leadership roles at school, and even be the first in their family to go on to college."
For more information about Humanities Camps, contact Jan Steinbauer at 802.262.2626 x310. For general information about the Vermont Humanities Council, call 802.262.2626, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.vermonthumanities.org.
Montpelier, VT 05602 (Set as Local)