June 30, 2017
Students in YWCA Central Alabama’s Summer Adventures in Learning (SAIL) program are having a wild time at camp this year. They’ve seen tigers and African lions, fed goats, ridden on a train, gazed at a waterfall, and held chinchillas. And that was just in one day.
“I like this camp because it is so much fun,” said 9-year-old Khalilah, a rising fifth-grader. “I never want my mama to pick me up early!”
With a theme of “Sailing into Excellence,” the program is designed to provide educational and enrichment activities for the students of homeless and working poor families. The goal is to prevent summer learning loss and to provide opportunities for the girls and boys to try new things.
The 50 students, who will be entering grades 1-8, are enjoying reading and math games and activities, participating in character education programs, exploring their creative sides with visiting artists and musicians, and learning to sew.
The focus is on fun. “We’ve been bowling, we got to play laser tag, and we go swimming every Friday,” Khalilah said. “We have so much fun and we don’t have to pay for anything. I’m also learning stuff I didn’t know, like my negative numbers. I didn’t understand them before but they explained it to me more and now I do.”
In addition to the daily activities, the students have taken field trips to Sloss Furnaces, Surge Trampoline Park, Noccalula Falls Park, and Tigers for Tomorrow at Untamed Mountain in North Alabama. They will also visit Southern Museum of Flight and The Dance Foundation.
“We are trying to give them exposure to things they might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience,” said Jondra Caddell, coordinator of the SAIL program. “They have been so excited and interested in everything we’ve done. I hope they will remember it the rest of their lives.”
The YWCA is grateful to The Daniel Foundation of Alabama, the Mike and Gillian Goodrich Foundation, and United Way of Central Alabama for making SAIL possible.
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