Nearly 700 Atlanta Public School students wrapped up one of the districts larges summer camp programs involving students from seven APS middle schools. Busloads of students came together for the annual After School All-Stars Summer Bash held on Friday. Five weeks of academics, creativity, and discovery concluded on the campus of B.E.S.T. Academy, Benjamin Carson.
After School All-Stars Atlanta is a year round program that provides a unique summer camp focused on health, community responsibility, and of course academics. The STEM Education component falls in line with what many of the participating academies are already doing.
Associated Executive Director, Lyndsy Greene said the program has project based learning modules that have been developed by facility members of Georgia State University.
“All of them are STEM related. Coretta Scott King Academy and B.E.S.T Academy are both really STEM related, STEM focused [schools]. We do robotics, crime scene investigation, navigation, what’s in the weather, what’s in the water. And all of these modules are in line with what’s in Georgia’s Common Core Standards,” said Greene.
The camp celebration on Friday was part of a week of events including Family Day. There was plenty of food, music, a Dis-jockey, students talent displays, other entertainment, games, movies, bounce houses, and even a team building water sport activity presented by Georgia State students.
The After School All-Stars Atlanta program is a massive undertaking involving the Atlanta Public School System, Georgia State University, the Department of Human Resources, the Marcus Foundation, the Whitehead Foundation and the national umbrella organization of After School All-Stars.
While the students participating may have danced, played or just chilled out on Friday, it was clear that they recognize the value of having had this summer camp opportunity.
Sylvan Hills Middle School student Keishawn Lyons told atombash.com, “Whenever we go to Georgia State, I read and gain something new.”
Jada Kilgore, also of Sylvan Hills, said she learned a lot of things while participating in the summer program including information that will help her when she returns to school in the fall.
“We did math and reading. Georgia State helped us with reading. This help to regenerate my mind. All of it helped to refresh us,” said Kilgore.
The academic prep is not over with the conclusion of this camp. Beginning Sunday and throughout the week many of these middle school students will leave for college tours across the southeast. Lyndsy Greene said the goal here is to get these students on the right track and get them thinking about college as early as the sixth grade.
“Some are going to Florida, some are going to Alabama and Tennessee. So they will have a good time and meet with some of the college recruiters and learn what it takes to get into college, and just get their minds focus that college is the way to go.” said Greene.
Of course an event like this is not possible without an army of volunteers leading the young scholars through their journey to academic success. The After-School All-Stars (aka Inner-City Games) began as a summer athletic program for inner city kids in 1994. By 2002 the program’s success was undeniable. Today, about 3,000 inner city middle school children participate in the program every day after school during the school year, and during the summer camps. This year Sandy Springs Middle School students also participated in the summer camp.