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Heritage Summer Camp takes innovative twists

Heritage Summer Camp merged science, math, fine arts and summer fun. (CONTRIBUTED)
Heritage Summer Camp merged science, math, fine arts and summer fun. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Heritage Summer Camp used innovative ideas to merge the season’s fun times with creative expression and academic lessons.

About 75 children attended the camp, which ran from May 28 through July 25. Students attended from all of Madison’s seven elementary schools.

New for 2014, teachers incorporated science experiments, hands-on math activities and planting a garden, camp coordinator Michele Gibbon White said. During the school year, White teaches third-graders at Heritage Elementary School.

“We were so blessed to have such a wonderful group of kids, teachers and parents,” White said. “Parents were very appreciative of everything we incorporated in this year’s program. They expressed to us on several occasions that they were so glad that they chose Heritage.”

Rotating among classrooms, students pursued specific diversions. They played structured games in the gym. In the computer lab, campers used SuccessMaker Math and Reading software. Another room served as the art and drama center, while the cafeteria accommodated music and dance.

“Students also had access to iPads daily,” White said.

“The students loved hands-on science experiments. Marshmallow rockets and balloon races were their favorite,” White said. Campers also liked painting with cornstarch and making wind chimes from beads.

Also delving into the fine arts, students “used cups as instruments and performed a song at our end-of-the-year program, dances and developed techniques used to create art,” White said.

Compared to standard daycare, Heritage Summer Camp strived “to actively engage students in fun and exciting activities throughout the day,” White said. They had field trips four days per week to venues like Monaco Pictures, Dublin Park’s swimming pool, Carousel Skate Center and Madison Bowling Center.

During their day on campus, community personalities visited, such as Alexander’s Martial Arts instructors, a magician and meteorologist Jeff Castle, formerly with WAFF. The students also enjoyed a bounce house and water slides.

The staff included eight teachers, along with the cafeteria manager and cashier. Dr. Georgina Nelson is principal at Heritage.

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