While some students don’t even want to think about school in the summer, nearly 200 Texas City Independent School District elementary school students spent a week this summer in the district’s Summer Enrichment Camp.

These students didn’t have to attend classes to catch up on missed work or work that they didn’t successfully complete the first time. All of these students chose to be in school to enhance their learning.

This was the fourth year the district offered the Summer Enrichment Camp to students who have completed first through fifth grades. The camp is a half-day for four days and is free to students. Our camps reach maximum capacity each year.

During the spring, teachers present proposals for camp topics and activities. There have been sessions on Greek mythology, geocaching, plant life, creative writing, forensics, gardening, fractured fairy tales and more. This year, there were nine classes of camps in three topics: Art Through Literature, Summer by the Sea and LEGOS of Fun. 

Art Through Literature was taught by Kohfeldt Elementary teachers Amie Prince, Kimberly Riggs and Shelly Simpson. Students learned about various illustrators such as Eric Carle, Leo Lionni and Mo Williams who make books exciting to read. Not only were the students exposed to high-quality children’s literature, but students were able to create their own illustrations using their individual art style.

Heights teachers Robin Bacon, Dee Dee Lillie and Emily Otis taught Summer by the Sea. During this camp, students were able to recognize habitats on Galveston Island, create and share models of habitats for islands and dramatize recreational activities possible on an island. Students also were able to take a field trip to the Texas City Dike so they could explore the natural water habitat in their own backyard.

LEGOS of Fun allowed students to use their creativity to learn engineering skills and solve mathematical problems using addition, subtraction, multiplication and geometry. Many students play with LEGOS at home and they build and create but they don’t make the connection that they are using math and engineering skills. This class was taught by Heights teachers Danelle Cantu, Holly Godeaux and Denise Walker.

There is never a shortage of teachers wanting to teach in the Summer Enrichment Camp, and there is always plenty of fun ideas. This opportunity gives teachers a chance to be creative and go beyond the scope of the curriculum. At the same time, the camp is fun for students because they get to select the camp they are most interested in, the one that most appeals to them and their interest. Many of these students have been coming each summer, and they always have plenty of ideas they’d like to see incorporated into the next Summer Enrichment Camp.

TCISD students and parents look forward the Summer Enrichment Camp each summer. The camp topics vary from year to year depending on the teachers making proposals. If a teacher has a passion to teach it, we’ll offer it.

Melissa Tortorici is the Director of Communications for Texas City ISD.

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