Pick-Up-and-Go Camp for homebound kids

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The Family Resource Center will provide a Pick-Up-and-Go summer camp for students in grades K-6 in the Clayton Ridge School District, beginning June 1. Above shows children enjoying "Hedbandz Junior" at a FRC mentoring event prior to social distancing recommendations. Deadline to register for the event is Friday, May 15. (Photo submitted)

By Caroline Rosacker

The Family Resource Center (FRC) in Guttenberg is planning a “Pick-Up-and-Go” summer camp to serve students in grades K-6 instead of the originally planned camp. 

Event organizers commented, "We did not take this decision lightly. We believe the health and safety of our families are most important in these uncertain times.  We are sad we cannot hold a traditional face-to-face summer camp, but are excited to offer you this new style of summer camp that will provide your child/children learning activities from the comfort of your own home."

Grab-and-Go Lunch 

St. Mary's School cafeteria in Guttenberg and Clayton Ridge Elementary School in Garnavillo will be the sites for free Grab-and-Go lunches, and Pick-Up-and-Go camp kits. The food program is available Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. There is no registration, income guidelines or identification needed for this program. All children are eligible. 

Pick-Up-and-Go camp

The Pick-Up-and-Go summer camp does require registration, although there is no cost for either program. Summer camp kits will be distributed each Monday beginning June 1, from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Families may pick up an activity kit for their child/children and return the previous week’s kit at the same time. 

Camp registration

Each student in the Clayton Ridge School District received an informational letter by mail or e-mail explaining the event and a registration form. Organizers explained, "Once we have received your registration form, we will connect with you to set up your location pick-up site. If you have previously completed a summer camp form you do not need to fill out another, but we may ask you for additional information. We will clearly label items that should be returned and items that can be kept. If picking up your kit is a barrier, please let us know and we will make accommodations to deliver. Each kit will hold various academic and fun activities for your child to complete at home! We will even hold some online video sessions." 

Deadline to register for the summer camp is Friday, May 15.

Elizabeth Wolfe and Michelle Scott, both teachers in the Clayton Ridge School District are spearheading the program.

Elizabeth Wolfe

Elizabeth Wolfe, preschool teacher at St. Mary Immaculate Conception School, earned a B.A. degree in Spanish from the University of Iowa, and a degree in Early Childhood PK-3rd General Ed./Special Ed from the University of Northern Iowa. 

Wolfe shared, "I was inspired to become involved after a parent had connected me with the Family Resource Center. I attended a community meeting about the Mentoring Program and was hooked by being presented with a way to help children in the community outside of teaching, and by Kari Harbaugh's (FRC director) infectious and honest enthusiasm to assist the community." 

Michelle Scott

Michelle Scott, elementary special education teacher at Clayton Ridge School, earned her B.A. degree in secondary education and English from the University of Dubuque. She has endorsements in special education K-12, reading, social studies and language arts. She earned her M.A. degree in education through Morningside College. 

Scott shared, "I love helping people and inspiring students to love to learn. I also think it is important to give back to the community that we live in! As a teacher, we are huge role models for our students, and we also make a big impact in our students' lives with even the smallest actions. I hope by giving back to the community, I am making a positive impact in our students' lives."

Inspiration

Both educators commented, "Kari Harbaugh was the inspiration behind the project." Scott elaborated, "She came up with the idea when we were brainstorming what a summer camp could look like during these unprecedented times. When the idea was thrown out there, we ran with it. Something like this has never been done before. We are excited to help take on the challenge to serve our students." 

What to expect

The fun, educational summer camp program will include board games, literacy and math activities, arts and crafts, S.T.E.M. kits, physical games, and sensory items. "We like a variety, and hope this gives children a chance to develop skills and interests," Wolfe said. 

"The activities could range from planting seeds, to fun hands-on math activities, to an exciting wellness challenge. These take-home kits will be age-appropriate for the kids receiving them as well," Scott noted. 

"This is a wholly unique program and available to all students entering K-6th grade and living in the school district area, including St. Mary's students. The Resource Center has secured funding, but we are looking into additional funds to possibly extend it longer, or be able to increase the number of students we can serve. Donations of money and supplies would be much appreciated," Wolfe added. 

Volunteer opportunities

Volunteers are needed to help pack and deliver the "Pick-Up-and-Go" packets. Interested volunteers, or for additional information, contact the Family Resource Center by e-mail at summercampcrsd@gmail.com or call 563-252-3215.

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