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Each summer in late June, the D-E campus begins its annual transformation into a day camp for 700+ participants in D-E 360° Summer Connections. With programs for learners of all ages, from preschoolers all the way to adults (Editor’s Note: see STEM Institute story on page 42 for details), the 2018 program once again served up dozens of exciting learning opportunities within the arts, athletics, cooking, business start-up and entrepreneurial ventures, STEM, and more. 

 

“We are very much looking forward to continuing to offer opportunities to our summer participants that are dynamic, hands-on and just plain fun.”

Dr. Sherronda Brown, Ed. D. Director, D-E 360°

 

The Summer 2018 theme for our youngest campers in Discoveries and Adventures was “Passports Around the World.” Starting in North America and eventually “traveling” their way to all the continents, including Europe, Africa, and Asia, youngsters from the age of 3 through Grade 5 explored the world through lessons in culturally relevant cooking, music, art, and literature. Field trips were particularly exciting, including a special visit to the UN, where campers were privileged to see where international leaders meet and experienced a meeting in-progress. 

 

Campers in Grades 5-12 enjoyed class favorites within the “a la carte” Enrichment program, ranging from classes in cooking and debate to fencing, photography, videography, and watercolors, and they also enthusiastically engaged in new debut classes such as archery, ballet, body knitting, cheerleading, and self-defense. Summer Connections Scholars participants took on demanding but fulfilling five-week, credit-granting courses in English, math, and science. In the words of one Algebra 2 teacher, “There’s more opportunity to talk through what we’re learning [during the summer program] compared to a typical math class during the school year… in this program, if we’re not sure about a concept, we have an opportunity to stop and have a [clarifying] conversation.” 

 

Meanwhile those enrolled in the program’s Immersive offerings did a “deep dive” into specific disciplines, gathering for in-depth, one- or two-week time periods to focus on one specific area of concentration in the arts and STEM, to name a few. String Society, led by D-E’s own music faculty members Annaliesa Place and Diego Garcia, celebrated its 11th year and ended its week with customary flourish thanks to a fantastic Grand Finale concert. (Editor’s Note: See more on the String Society on page 44.) Now in its fourth year, the popular Young Visionaries (YV) provides another pertinent example. D-E visual arts teacher Rachel Brusky, who founded the program, explains her inspiration for the course came from “frequent inquiries I received from parents about local art classes and programs for their elementary-aged children. I would often hear from parents that their children loved making art, but only had art class once a week in school or not at all. YV allows students to discover who they are as artists and develop a strong mindset of risk-taking.” This year YV artists experienced woodworking, mixed-media, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, acting, and the integration of art and technology, learning various techniques hands-on, and applying a theme centered on the idea of “scale” in art. Inspired by an intricate exhibit depicting Manhattan in miniature at the New York Children’s Museum, YV Director Chelsea Noyes and visiting professionals together guided YV campers in creating their own individualized environments for a culminating exhibit unveiled on the last day of the program. The display transformed Hajjar Auditorium into more than a dozen small-scale communities. 

 

Dr. Sherronda Brown, Director of D-E 360°, summed up the program as follows: “For six very powerful weeks each year, we create a community dedicated to ‘learning boldly’ and Summer Connections 2018 was no exception! We brought the world to D-E with our Passports Theme in Discoveries and Adventures; we brought new opportunities for Enrichment students; we remained true to academic offerings in science, math and writing; and we immersed our students in specialty offerings in Strings, Explosive Science, Coding and the visual arts with Young Visionaries. With all of that said, we are very much looking forward to continuing to offer opportunities to our summer participants that are dynamic, hands-on and just plain fun. The feedback from students and their families for 2018 was overwhelmingly positive, and they’re looking to return for more!” 

 

Photos included here attest to the wonderful experiences that unfolded during Summer 2018. For more details, photos, and video vignettes from D-E 360° Summer Connections, and to learn about our Summer 2019 offerings, please visit de360.d-e.org or call 201-227-3144. 

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