Surrounded by the bright orange and white colors of the Houston Dynamo, HISD Interim Superintendent Lathan led the unveiling on Tuesday of the district’s first-ever, all-virtual academic enrichment camp.
Camp Spark, which kicks off on Monday, Aug. 24, launched with a live socially distant celebration at Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium. The virtual camp, which is designed to get students re-engaged as the district prepares for online learning, will provide lessons that focus on physical fitness, science, literacy, math, internet safety, technology and art.
New ninth-graders will take part in a boot camp to prepare them for high school while 10th- through 12th-graders will participate in a College and Career Readiness course.
“Camp Spark is a great way to engage our students and get them ready for the new school year,” Lathan said. “We want our parents and our students to see that although we’re in a virtual format, that academic rigor continues.”
During Tuesday’s launch event, Camp Spark partners including the Houston Public Library, Children’s Museum Houston, The Houston Dynamo and Dash, Comp-U-Dopt and others gave viewers a preview of Camp Spark’s engaging interactive daily lessons. Members from Harris County Precinct One’s Environmental Education team introduced viewers to a couple reptilian friends – a South American Boa Constrictor named Coral and an Argentinian Red Tegu named Drogo.
“We are so excited for this to be our first virtual launch of this amazing camp,” Camp Spark organizer and HISD Teacher Development Specialist Jonathan Denning said. “This launch gives us a really good feel for what’s going to happen during the camp.”
Camp Spark organizers have created the “Attend to Win” program to encourage daily engagement. Students attending Camp Spark will have the chance to win one of thousands of prizes like STEM kits from Children’s Museum Houston, and Bluetooth Bumpboxx speakers.
Camp Spark is free for all students. Registration is encouraged but not required. More information about the camp can be found online at Houstonisd.org/CampSpark.