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Vacation camp gets top marks

News day / Burt Wiseman, principal of the Guayaguayare RC Primary School, where the vacation camp is held, gave a glowing review of the camp: “The kids who attend the Black Deer Camp are always excited and energised to do their work when they return to school. Many of these kids are at-risk academically and because of the remedial learning that they engage in, they overcome these obstacles and eventually do well.

“They are given a lot of self-esteem and motivation through their camp experience and this shows in how they excel in their schoolwork.

Year after year, this camp is a success story and I have to commend bpTT and the Black Deer Foundation for the difference they are making in these kids’ lives,” Wiseman said in a media release.

The camp utilises a mix of conventional and non-traditional techniques to reinforce the various skills students encountered at different education levels. Academic learning is delivered through elements of arts and craft, music, dance, gardening and instructional field trips.

Campers also engaged in interactive exercises to strengthen them in areas such as phonics, vocabulary, sentence structure, reading and writing.

Ronda Francis, corporate responsibility manager, bpTT , underscored the company’s support for the initiative: “This camp utilises highly interactive teaching techniques to reinforce fundamental learning skills such as literacy, numeracy and critical thinking.

The real difference, however, is the fact that a nurturing and fun environment is created where the kids feel comfortable to move at their own pace. They have excellent and dedicated tutors and the children themselves assist each other to succeed. From the feedback we receive, the Black Deer campers are much more capable and confident of attaining their full potential.” This year the camp was attended by 80 children between the ages of four and 13, most of whom came from the surrounding Mayaro/Guayaguayare community. The six-week exercise also attracted participants from across Trinidad and even the United States, based on the extraordinary feedback that parents have received over the years.

In addition to the experienced tutors, the camp also incorporates students from bpTT ’s Brighter Prospects programme. The scholarship programme provides financial assistance to students from Mayaro who gain access to tertiary education at approved institutions, who are required to volunteer toward the development of their home community.

Also giving praise to bpTT for its continued support of the camp was Arvolon Wilson- Smith, president of Black Deer Foundation, “We are already getting positive feedback from teachers, parents, and especially the campers themselves, as they settle in school. This camp works because the students have freedom to learn at their own pace while being guided by qualified tutors in a fun environment. This is yet another sterling investment made by bpTT in terms of developing young people.”

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