Etobicoke, Ontario (August 20, 2018) –Oak Learners donated five weeks of summer camp to Women’s Habitat’s youngest service users, providing them a summer to remember. Kelly Farrell, Director at Oak Learners, remarked that, “contributing to our community is an integral part of the educational experience at Oak Learners; it is important for us to be able to give this opportunity to children who would otherwise have not been able to attend summer camp.”
Summer camps at Oak Learners provide a unique camp experience, designed to engage naturally inquisitive and active children. A typical day for all campers includes a morning yoga session, fun art, crafts and musical activities throughout the day, followed by an outdoor adventure trip to a local park or nature trail. “Time spent playing outdoors and engaged in free play with peers is so important to help youth develop important self-regulation and problem solving skills” says Farrell. The camp introduces mindfulness techniques to the children, modeled by the teachers. All students are mentored to recognize different feelings in their body, both emotionally and physically, which help to increase self-awareness and resilience habits.
Key benefits of the programming at Oak Learners include inquiry-based curriculum with full arts-integration, low student-teacher ratios and daily mindfulness practice. The intentional integration of arts programming and mindfulness is designed to encourage creativity and individuality in all children. The Ontario Ministry of Education recognized the “substantial and important connections between creativity, high academic achievement, economic and social entrepreneurialism, leadership, and problem solving” in its 21st Century Competencies discussion document, published in 2013.
“This experience has been incredible for the kids, many of whom have never had the opportunity to attend summer camp.” says Silvia Samsa, Women’s Habitat’s Executive Director, “We feel incredibility fortunate to have this partnership.”