With a grant from Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation, violence prevention coordinator Hannah Woggon teamed up with the Consolidated Summer Enrichment Program during the past two summers to provide educational enrichment and activities to more than 100 students in Lexington.
“Our grant focuses on creating healthy, safe communities in Lexington,” Woggon said. “With a concentration on two neighborhoods, we had it in our grant to create a summer camp, but we decided to partner with the Consolidated Summer Enrichment Program instead of designing a new camp.”
Consolidated Summer Enrichment Program, which has been serving the Winburn neighborhood in Lexington since 2005, is a partnership between Kentucky State University and Consolidated Baptist Church in Lexington. The program offers education in STEM, arts, agriculture and environmental sciences, along with academic enrichments for students who have completed grades kindergarten through fifth grade.
Program director Demetria Blair said the program’s goal is to bridge the gap between the end of the school year in May and the beginning of the next one in August.
“This was an opportunity for our kids to have exposure to things they wouldn’t normally have access to due to financial barriers, transportation barriers, social barriers or a lack of awareness,” Blair said. “We sought to make people aware of these opportunities and provide them with a chance to participate.”
During summer 2019, students visited the Kentucky Horse Park to learn about equine science, learned to cook from culinary professionals and brushed up on their academic proficiencies in science, math, and literacy with help from Fayette County Public School teachers.
Building on the success from 2019’s camp, Blair and Woggon faced a new challenge in 2020 – a global pandemic. In-person lessons and activities moved to a virtual platform so the learning didn’t have to stop.
“COVID-19 made us think more creatively,” Blair said. “Everything was closed but education was not. Our kids needed something to do in the summertime now more than ever. With Zoom, we were able to provide programming to them virtually.”
Woggon said her grant provided materials for parents to pick up every week. The kits included all of the academic, arts and STEM materials students needed to do the activities each week virtually with program volunteers and leaders, including Woggon herself.
“For me, doing the cross-stitching class was amazing,” Woggon said. “These kids loved it. It was so incredible to watch them work and show me their work on Zoom or send me pictures to see if they were doing it right.”
Woggon and Blair said they anticipate doing a mix of in-person and virtual programming for students depending on COVID-19 and safety guidelines for next summer’s camp.
“This year, in particular, had a special meaning because of COVID-19,” Blair said. “Because of Hannah and CHI Saint Joseph Health, we were able to take our homes and make it a playground for not just our kids, but their whole family.”
To learn more about the program, visit the Consolidated Summer Enrichment Program website. For more information about the violence prevention program, and other initiatives, supported by CHI Saint Joseph Health Foundations, visit https://www.chisaintjosephhealth.org/body.cfm?id=7604&action=detail&ref=1844.