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Camp DIVE's 3rd summer offers new opportunities

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Camp DIVE (Discover, Inquire, Voice and Explore), a summer program designed to reduce summer learning loss, served 75 Clarke County School District students for a third summer this past June at Clarke Middle School. The program, a partnership among the UGA College of Education, Clarke County School District and the Athens-Clarke County community, continued to provide enriching, hands-on learning experiences for campers as well as new leadership and arts-based opportunities.

Co-director Ashlee Perry, a counselor at Clarke Central High School and a College of Education doctoral student, initiated a new internship program for students who had aged out of the camp. Under her supervision, four rising ninth-graders served as junior counselors, gaining work-based learning skills and experience with young children.

Kevin Burke, faculty in the department of language and literacy education, said he appreciated this new component. "The most intriguing part about the third year of Camp DIVE was getting to observe—and in some small way, work with—former campers who returned in leadership roles," he said. "These were youth who stuck around for an extra summer to provide a learning experience for and mentoring to younger campers. It's a lovely model for building youth leadership capacity, and it's also a great example of the ways in which youth share empathy in a school setting."

Also new this past summer was a "Festival of the Arts" component that gave campers more fine arts-based experiences, including dance, visual arts, drama and musical theater. Campers performed for their parents and the community on the last day of camp. As part of the celebration, 200 people enjoyed a lunch donated by local restaurants.

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