Los Fresnos News

Ethel Whipple Summer Camps Come to a Close

Miss Iris Garcia (in front) with kids who participated in the Oceans of Possibilities Summer camp

Emilio Flores
Los Fresnos News

Los Fresnos, Texas — The Ethel Whipple Memorial Library has been having a blast exploring with kids the underwater world through this year’s summer camp “Oceans of Possibilities”. The camp started on June 13th and has just come to an end this month on the 14th.

Throughout the weeks the kids have learned so much about the different parts of the fish, the different layers of the ocean, and the sea creatures in each respective layer.

Iris Garcia, the head of the Children’s Department and coordinator behind the lesson planning and activities, has put in countless hours to offer these kids a wonderful experience and open them up to the joy of reading and creativity.

“I tie the lesson with a book during Storytime and a hands-on craft to allow the kids to express themselves and use their creativity.”

As mentioned back in June, one of the biggest goals for Ms. Garcia’s Summer Reading program is to keep the kids engaged.

And Miss Garcia met that goal, she says, “We had the participants complete a survey on the last day to get information straight from the source– the kids.” Garcia says, “After reading their responses, it became so apparent that every child is different.”

One of the questions on the survey asked what their favorite part about the program was, and their answers were all over the board.

“This tells me that our program had a little something for everyone! We provided a lot of arts & crafts and STEM activities which allowed the kids to be hands-on. These activities enhanced the reading program by really engaging the kids and keeping their brains active this summer.”

When asked on the survey if they would want to participate again next year, “we got a unanimous yes!” Iris Garcia says, “Goal achieved.”

They also had a reading challenge during the camp, to that she says “Along with administering verbal quizzes after a child completed a book, we also utilized a computer program, which helped us measure comprehension for the purpose of determining whether the student has read and understood a book. Our Top Summer Readers, Isaiah Juarez (Age 6) and Emma Torres (Age 7), read a combined 53 books!”

Miss Garcia says that they definitely witnessed an improvement in confidence when tackling a new book.
“At first students would gravitate toward lower reading level books or something that was familiar, like Pete the Cat or Dr Seuss. But by the end of the program, they were exploring other authors and reading at their appropriate reading level.”

Lastly, Iris Gracia says “We just want to thank our awesome group volunteers for their time and commitment to the program, Walmart for the grant that helped supply the material and incentives, Child Nutrition at Los Fresnos CISD for providing nutrition meals, Friends of the Library for their contributions, and (the) City of Los Fresnos for their support! Stay tuned for upcoming events and programs happening at the Library!”