Each year our summer camp serves more than 60 children. Approximately 90% of these children live in poverty and 25% speak English as a second language. The three weeks of our summer camp provide crucial opportunities to make up for the learning gap that occurs during the summer months for low-income children.
Last summer our children read 10 books, took part in 3 community service projects, learned dances and dialogue and then performed in a play, completed 12 art projects, played math games, created and participated in a Fais-Do-Do, dissected crawfish, played miniature golf, went roller skating, and ate too many freezie pops to count!
Help us continue to provide these opportunities for learning and fun for our children!
A $20 donation sponsors a child for one day, and $100 sends a child to camp for a week.
You can actually see stars in the sky. Moths don’t bite, at least not people. Nothing tastes better than a s’more cooked over a campfire.
These are some of the discoveries our kids made on this year’s camping trip. We spent two nights tent camping at Bogue Chitto State Park with 17 3rd- 8th graders. I especially loved seeing the combination of kids who have been on numerous camping trips with us and those who had never spent a night outdoors. Some of our older kids have developed some real expertise– Alona and J’Quan were great help packing up the tents,
Suryeni enjoys her chicken “hobo pack.”
Caleb handled much of the fire-building, and nobody tells a better- or sillier- campfire story than Bruce. Our new campers jumped into the experience with seemingly no hesitation. Even the cold temperatures on the first night did not dampen their enthusiasm.We played in the sand at a riverside beach, enjoyed the splash park, took several walks, and spent lots of time cooking and singing around the campfire.
Each year our tutoring kids have the opportunity to give to others through our Heifer Project. These children can choose to donate the points they earn for good behavior (and which are typically spent for toys and other treats in our “prize store”) to the project. All donated points are then matched with a $1 donation to Heifer International which provides support to needy families across the world.
At the end of the project, the kids vote on what animal they would like to “buy” with the funds. On the day of the vote, kids had two choices. Choice 1 was to buy a water buffalo and a sheep for a needy family. Our 2nd option was to buy rabbits and send a girl to school for a year.
Our kids chose option 2 with an almost unanimous vote. Seeing 25 little hands raised at once was a beautiful sights! Our kids– as young as six and seven years-old, living in impoverished neighborhoods themselves– are changing the life of a little girl on the other side of the world!
Tonight our Quest kids are cooking dinner for the Carrollton Avenue Church to help raise the funds to match the tutoring kids’ donations.
Thanks to the generosity and hard work of Tulsa’s Park Plaza Church the “lot” has been transformed! Our kids are loving the new swings, slides, and Noah’s Ark. Concrete has been poured for a new 4- Square Court, which no doubt will be in full use during camp!
Check out the full details in the Times-Picayune, http://blog.nola.com/new_orleans/2014/03/noahs_ark_motif_reminds_new_or.html.
Thank you so much, Oklahoma friends!!!
Victoria tries out the climbing wall.
Sheylyn on the new tire swing.
Kendall and Denzall get ready for a relay race.
New Orleans experienced one of the coldest springs I can ever remember, but our Quest kids enthusiastically braved 40 degree overnight temperatures during our annual camping trip! We arrived on Friday night to a soggy (but fully set-up! Thank you Xander and Trevor!) camp site. After some s’mores and campfire singing, and lots of talking back in the tents, we settled in for a cold night. The weather was beautiful by the next morning, and the kids cooked scrambled eggs, sausage links, and even toast over the fire. We then drove to a strawberry farm and picked bucketfulls of strawberried, met some baby goats, and had a picnic. Back at the campground we took a nature hike with Ranger Steve and went for a swim in Lake Pontchartrain. The next morning we had a devotional and packed up. 15 kids came on the trip, including several of our tutoring kids who were first-time campers. We are already talking about when we go camping this fall. Thanks to all of our adult volunteers who helped make the trip go so smoothly!
This past spring we partnered with STAIR and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities to host a six week series of bilingual family literacy nights. Families received books to take home and read together. Families then discussed the books at the weekly meetings. Many of our tutoring families participated. Thanks to the volunteers who helped prepare our wonderful meals!
Jaden decorating his king cake.
It can’t be a camp reunion without some time set aside for a story! To celebrate this special day, we read from a book of poetry about American history. The pictures and words explained how all Americans throughout our history have always hoped for freedom, though guaranteeing equal rights for all has been a long and difficult process. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Obama have been part of that process, and we need to continue to show kindness to all people and help continue to make that dream of freedom a reality.
We made King Cakes with cinnamon rolls and lots of purple, green, and gold sugar.
Among one of my favorite Kid City traditions is our annual Heifer Project. Each year our tutoring students “donate” tickets they have earned for good behavior and hard work (tickets that could otherwise be used to buy treats for themselves) to our Heifer Project. Mid-City Ministries matches each donated ticket with $1.oo that will be sent to Heifer International.
We discuss the various types of animals that Heifer sends to families and how those families can benefit from those animals. Our kids then vote for the one they want to choose with the money they have raised. For years we were in the rabbit- ducks- honeybee range, but as our program and children’s enthusiasm has grown, we have been able to aim for the bigger animals. This year our goal is to raise $250, enough for a water buffalo!
Our Quest kids are getting in on the project by cooking and serving dinner next Wednesday night. All of the money they raise through that meal will go towards matching the donated tickets.
I love watching our children decide how many tickets to donate. Everyone gets to make their own decision about if and how much to donate. I also loved hearing our Kid City veterans tell the younger students about the project and share their enthusiasm.
We’re all so excited that a group of elementary kids from New Orleans are on their way to providing a family in Asia with a water buffalo!