Photo courtesy YISD

UTEP, Vista Hills Elementary partner for Virtual Youth Camp

Thanks to a new collaboration with UTEP, Gifted and Talented (GT) students at Vista Hills  Elementary  School will have the opportunity this spring to participate in a customized Virtual Youth Camp.

According to school officials, the virtual camp is designed to “enrich learning in a fun and creative environment.”

The new partnership came about through the efforts of the Vista Hills ES librarian and GT coordinator, Jennifer Navarrette, who worked closely last fall with UTEP’s Professional and Public Programs’ Youth Programs and Camps to design the Spring 2021 virtual camp for her GT students in grades 2-6.

“UTEP has been wonderful to work with,” Navarrette said. “Their professors will teach the course; they created a syllabus for the kids, and all materials were provided with campus GT funds for a college-like experience.

“It will add a collegiate learning opportunity for this next generation of leaders,” she added.

Navarrette said the GT program at Vista Hills ES aims to enrich learning by tailoring instruction and experiences to enhance each student’s unique giftedness – and that’s why she was excited to partner with UTEP to offer this Virtual Youth Camp to her students.

The Virtual Youth Camp’s course schedule meets Texas state guidelines for GT programming. The weekly one-hour camp will be taught by veteran UTEP instructors, whose instruction will cover advanced concepts such as coding and computer science, creative writing, engineering, architecture, and more.

It is also designed to help students develop critical thinking skills, evaluation and reasoning abilities while participating with peers in a fun and creative learning environment.

District officials add that Vista Hills Elementary School, home of the Crusaders, is a Title I school in the Hanks Learning Community that serves students in grades K-6, as well as those in Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities (PPCD).

UTEP officials said the camp is one more way the university is working within the El Paso community to provide unique learning opportunities.

Any public or private school administrator interested in bringing these types of programs to their schools should email [email protected] to set up a consultation.