Lawndale summer cap 'Gets kids off the couch'

By Sarah Burpo/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Lawndale Elementary is hosting Camp Opportunity for Tupelo public school children yet again this summer.
The camp runs through the entire month of June and offers one-week classes in art, theater and science to any Tupelo public school district student who has completed kindergarten-sixth grade.
Lawndale teacher and camp director Teresa Gregory has been involved with the camp for many years.
“It gets the kids off the couch when it’s too hot for them to play outside,” Gregory said.
The camp costs $80 per student for each camp, but some scholarships are available.
With everything from CSI-type investigating to virtual tours through the Smithsonian, Camp Opportunity offers a wide variety of classes to choose from.
“The technology we now have has really brought us into different types of learning,” Gregory said.
Sherry Willis also has been involved with the camp for many years and chooses different themes for each class whether it be pirates, discovering Japan, or exploring Egypt.
“Hands-on learning is very important because the need for personal contact is still the same, and the kids need to be presented with that,” Willis said.
The art and science camps tend to be the most popular with students, according to Gregory, but the theater camp this year was a big hit.
“The students read lines, sang solos, and wore costumes,” Gregory said. “The parents were in awe at their performance.”
Another class offered at the camp is Digital Arts with Macbooks instructed by Jamie Baker.
This class teaches students how to use different programs such as Photo Booth and Keynote as well as how to make commercials, presentations and voiceovers.
“With our school district going to Macs, this class makes a big difference,” Baker said. “If the children learn one software, they can learn them all.”
Said Gregory: “The children are doing things that will help them in the classroom, and they don’t even realize it.”