El Sol launched the Sunshine Summer Camp this year. Our goal is to provide an educational and engaging summer camp for the children of day-laborers who live in our area. Their children attend the local elementary, middle and high-schools. They participate in the Palm Beach County School District’s free and reduced lunch program, but during the summer there is a gap in services for the children.
In our area, the most affordable summer camps are charging $150 per week, which is approximately the same amount that our day-laborers can expect to make on any given week. Our plan this summer is to provide a free summer camp for the children of parents we serve, in which we will: 1) engage them in our organic community garden, teaching them how to grow and prepare vegetables; 2) provide them with food assistance during the summer camp and a special backpack with food and books for the weekend; and 3) provide them with a strong and interactive curriculum so that they can learn and grow during their summer weeks away from school.
Each week is themed, and related activities are planned for the entire week. For example, campers have learned about the lifecycle of bees from Bee Barf Apiaries, healthy eating choices from Chef Nina Kauder, and gardening crafts from Home Depot.
El Sol has partnered with Leadership Palm Beach Beach County, who developed a 6-week curriculum for our camp. El Sol has also partnered with local donors, NYCCAH AmeriCorps Summer Associate Program, and several community partners to make this program possible.