ENRICH camp teaches character, academics

Published 12:30 am Thursday, August 8, 2013

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

“It was a tremendous success. Anytime you can get children together just to sit down and to learn more about how to be productive citizens, it always a success.”
That’s the way Pastor Bennie Stanford of Bethlehem Christian Church in Fort Deposit summed up a character building summer camp hosted by Edgewood Tutorial Plus Center in conjunction with Lutheran Ministries of Alabama and his church that ended on Friday, Aug. 2.
Youngsters in grades K-12 in Fort Deposit and the surrounding area marked the end of the month-long Summer ENRICH camp with closing ceremonies at the church.
Melvin Brackman, who represents Lutheran Ministries of Alabama and the ENRICH program (Enhancing Needed Resources, Increasing Children’s Horizons), said the camps are designed from the start to improve students in core educational subjects as well as some music, arts, health-nutrition and nationally recognized character education using the “Winners Walk Tall” program.
He said the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Montgomery and Mary Anne Martin contributed to the ENRICH camp in Fort Deposit.
“We have had a good relationship with the Boys and Girls Club of Hayneville, Joe Williams, the Rev. Bennie Stanford, the Bethlehem Christian Church and the Edgewood Tutorial Plus Center in Fort Deposit,” Brackman said.
“It’s really about character building,” Stanford said. He said the camp not only provides schoolwork to build the intellect, but character education.
He said the students had class work, arts and crafts and other fun activities.
“We’ve been doing summer camps for kids in the Black Belt area since 1955-56,” Brackman said. He said it’s been spread over Lowndes, Dallas and Montgomery and Wilcox counties.
He said Lutheran Ministries of Alabama provides money for the teachers and supplies for kids to use during the camps, which cost about $2,800 to fund in Fort Deposit and about $3,300 in Hayneville .
He said Lutheran Ministries of Alabama will also provide backpacks for the children who attended the camp, which will be filled with typical school supplies such as pens and pencils.
Ursula Goldsmith, is director of Edgewood Tutorial Plus Center in Fort Deposit, which hosted the camp at Bethlehem Christian Church.
Friday she said as part of the closing ceremonies, presentations were made on different character words, as well as a money smart presentation for the older children on wants, needs and savings.
She said the smaller children presented words such as “responsibility, trustworthiness, respect, caring, honesty and walking tall with a smile.”
Goldsmith said there were 27 children enrolled in the camp this summer with an average attendance of 20.
A sixth grade language/arts teacher at Lowndes Middle School, Goldsmith said the students worked on reading, language arts and mathematics, as well as did finger painting, paint by numbers, door hanging crafts and coloring.
She said the children were also fed breakfast and lunch during the camp.
Participating in the closing ceremonies were Trinity Allen, Dacious Davison, Genesis Howard, Malikai Mushatt, Qiana Peagler, Sharhonda Bradely, Jatyus Axel, James Thigpen, Alexander McHenry, Titus Carpenter, Quentavious Washington, Tykerria Axel, Quinterria Washington, Jaquarious Washington, Kawanni McPherson, Xavier McPherson and Robert McHenry.

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