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Loyola Campus Home To Academic Summer Camp Program for Local Elementary Students

Loyola press release - July 22, 2006

Loyola University’s Campus is host to a group of Tennessee State University students who are participating in Camp Supercharge, an academic summer camp that provides one-on-one tutoring and recreational activities to 250 inner-city New Orleans children whose academic progress was hindered by Hurricane Katrina. The camp began July 10 and will extend until August 4.

Camp Supercharge is the result of a $350,000 grant TSU won as part of the Universities Rebuilding America Partnerships. TSU students learned many of the usual summer programs held in New Orleans would not take place this summer, due to the continuing impact of Hurricane Katrina, and saw a need they could fulfill. They have designed a camp to help students catch up academically on instruction they have missed in the wake of the devastating storm. Each child enrolled in Camp Supercharge has been pre-tested, and TSU’s student counselors have designed a program specifically for each child based on his or her academic needs. The academic programs are in line with Louisiana state standards. Camp Supercharge is provided at no cost to the children’s families, and response has been overwhelming—more than 500 children applied for the 250 available slots.

“We are so excited about this opportunity and so proud of the team we have in place,” said Sue Fuller, director of service learning and civic engagement at TSU. “This camp will ‘supercharge’ the children for a new school year and help prepare them to cope with the continuing challenges of their lives. It also offers parents a safe environment for their children and relieves the burden of finding child care during the summer months.”

Students arrive at Camp Supercharge each morning to music and activities provided by TSU’s student counselors. Academic instruction is given from 9 a.m. until noon each day. Lunch is provided for all of the campers before they move on to arts and crafts and sports activities each afternoon. Campers take part in field trips, including visits to the New Orleans Zoo and IMAX theatre, as well as cultural programs. Special activities are offered as an incentive to those who show progress in their academic work. Bus service is provided to deliver students to and from Camp Supercharge each day.

TSU’s student counselors have completed rigorous training to prepare them for their duties at Camp Supercharge. They have studied child development and classroom management. The students have also trained in psychology and have talked specifically about the stress and trauma the campers may have endured, including moving and changing schools several times and having their families and friends scattered to places far away or even unknown.

TSU’s students don’t stop their work day when camp ends each afternoon. They have plans to work on service projects in the New Orleans area with other student and community groups on evenings and weekends.

For more information, please contact the TSU Office of Public Relations at (615) 963-5331.