Thanks to a Department of Defense Education Activity grant and the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) Social and Emotional Learning continues for district students this summer.
The grant provides summer enrichment for military-connected students at EPISD, welcoming them to attend SEL-centered camps at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Students were able to choose from among a variety of one-week camps, such as Empowerment 4Girls by Women, Leadership Institute, Youth Empowerment Sports Camps and among others.
“The camps are helping our student learn about self-esteem and self-empowerment. They will learn about positive choices and how to manage their emotions,” program manager Ericka Armendariz said. “Not only do they learn about sports, but they get to learn how to be a good team mate and help out others.”
The camps kicked off last week and will continue until July 27.
“It’s for military students, but the focus this year is different,” Armendariz said. “Last year, we gave students the opportunity to learn more about engineering, so we had robotics camps.”
This the second year Ross Middle School student Sydney Cole participated in the summer DoDEA camp.
“It’s pretty fun because I get to do fun activities, and I get to play sports that I like,” she said.
“It’s better to come here because I would just be sitting in my room coloring and drawing. When I come out here, I get to meet new people and participate with them instead of being my shy self. I have made a lot of new friends.”
Bassett Middle student Samuel Romero couldn’t wait to sign up for the program when he heard about it.
“I joined because one, summer chores, you know. Two, because I thought it would be a neat experience. I’ve never been to camp,” he said. “I love that everybody here is like a family. We get along well.”
Romero recommends students take advantage of these fun summer camps next year.
“They should come to the camp to learn leadership skills and how to play certain sports like soccer, dodgeball and volleyball,” he said. “You can enhance your speed.”