It may be the middle of summer, but a number of Grade 1 to 3 students were having a blast at Pope John Paul II, St. Louis School and École Ste-Marguerite Bourgeoys. The Wonder Emporium summer learning camp wrapped up on Monday after three weeks of exploring and learning.
"The Wonder Emporium Program is an opportunity for students in the primary grades to have a hands-on, enquiry-based learning system. In the morning there is literacy where they read aloud short stories and learn about different topics like volcanoes, stars, zippers and bacteria. Then we take those subjects and apply them. For example - volcanoes, we read about them, then watched a clip from Bill Nye the Science Guy and then we actually made volcanoes and the students got to see how they erupt," said the lead teacher at Pope John Paul II, Patrick Oberle.
The camp began on Tuesday, July 3rd and finished up on Monday, July 23rd. The program focuses on satisfying each child's natural curiosity about the world, while strengthening language skills, raising confidence and building relationships. It runs from 9:00AM to noon with breaks throughout for snacks and outdoor play.
Rihanna Hall is going into Grade 4 at PJP II and she said she had a great time learning new things at the Wonder Emporium.
"I learned that the shape of a boat means it will float or sink. We saw videos and read about it and then we experimented. We made boats and Mr. Oberle showed us a ball. He dropped the ball in the water and it sank, but our boats floated," she said.
On Monday students from all three camp locations gathered for a fun wrap-up event. They competed in activities like life-size rock, paper, and scissors, building human pyramids and coming up with a camp cheer. Parents were invited to come and join in the celebration and at the end everyone enjoyed a pancake brunch.
Dallis Novelli is the Curriculum Coordinator at the KCDSB and was in charge of the Wonder Emporium. She spoke more about the summer learning program.
"We're balancing between physical activity, reading, writing and math, while also trying to make it fun. We hope that they don't feel like it's work, we want it to be fun. We want them to feel like they're in control of what they're learning, and the teachers are guiding them," said Novelli.
She added that this year was a big success in large part due to the wonderful teachers who ran the program over the summer. While the doors have only just closed, Novelli is already making notes to ensure that next year's camp is even better.