School is out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean sleeping in and sitting around– we want to make the most of summer break for our kids at the Village of Hope; a “Summer to Remember.”
Our summer camp program, facilitated by students from Concordia University, includes 10 weeks of learning in math, arts and theater, reading and music for our kids between the ages 5 to 13.
The Summer to Remember program, which hosts 30 homeless children, has received one $12,000 donation so far, said Jim Palmer, president of the Rescue Mission. The camp, which runs Monday to Aug. 29, costs $25,000 to stage.
Started in 2010, the Summer to Remember program includes 10 weeks of “learning camps” in math, arts and theater, reading and music. It’s for kids ages 5 to 13 who live at the Village of Hope, the Rescue Mission’s transitional housing for homeless people.
“Statistically, children in that age group, coming out of homelessness, have twice the likelihood of learning disabilities, repeating a grade level and issues with following through on homework,” Palmer said.
Without enough donations, the summer camp will not happen, Palmer said. In previous years it’s been funded with the help of local families and foundations. The hope is that others will match the recent $12,000 donation made by one foundation, Palmer said.
“For some reason, we’ve seen in the month of May overall (that) giving had gone down,” Palmer said. “We’re not sure why.”
Volunteers from Concordia University lead the curriculum for the camp, which is held on site at the Village of Hope. One week is held off-campus at Concordia, where kids will learn from faculty and students. Campers will also get swimming lessons and go on field trips to the Discovery Science Center, the Santa Ana Zoo, the beach and other spots.
Currently, 89 children live at the Village of Hope in Tustin with their parents, making up 43 percent of the total population, according to Palmer. Usually, the summer program is already funded in the three months before it begins, Palmer said.