Getting them ready

Program focuses on real-world skills
Jul. 25, 2014 @ 05:52 PM

Spring Street Missionary Baptist Church and its volunteers prepared students for the real world this summer.

The church closed out a two-week summer camp Friday for about 58 local students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

During the program, older participants practiced social skills, business etiquette and SAT techniques while younger ones engaged in math and reading.

Carlton Wilkins, a junior at Granville Central High School returning for the camp’s second year, said the sessions taught him life lessons and how to control his attitude.

“This year was better than I expected,” he said. “The teachers are just all around amazing.”

Katrina Tunstall, a Northern Vance High School math teacher, started the camp two years ago to keep students from falling behind during the summer.

She said the program has developed to include creative writing — students were asked to write a letter to their federal representatives explaining their opinion on the Common Core repeal and revamp — Spanish and science.

Participants were also able to learn money management, how to apply for scholarships and how to interview for a job.

Sophomore Georgia Cooley, who will be leaving Warren County for Northern Vance High School this year, said she participated in a scenario testing her ability to support a family on a $10 an hour allowance.

“I’m always asking my mom for money, and she always says no,” she said. “Now I know why she says no to a lot of things I don’t need. It’s really hard to live on that amount of money.”

Younger students, like Henderson Collegiate’s Aiyanna Taylor, participated in competitions like the spelling bee.

She said this was her first year at the camp, and she wanted to come back next year.

“They slow down for you or speed up for you, depending on what you need,” she said.

All teachers were volunteers — either retired or recent college graduates.

Bessie Bullock had taught for more than 36 years before she retired, but volunteered to teach at Spring Street’s camp when Tunstall asked her to.

“Anything I can do to help our young folks today, I don’t mind doing it,” she said. “It’s for our future. I just love seeing the light on their faces.”

Stanley Boyd, chairman of the deacon board, said the church will continue to collect new ideas and expand the program, which it solely sponsors.

“It’s been a positive experience for the whole community,” he said. “Each year we are going to try to improve it.”

 

Contact the writer at dhairston@hendersondispatch.com.