PAL summer camp is about fun, games and learning

SOUTH BRONX — It may look like typical summer camp fun and games, but this Police Athletic League summer day camp is actually an educational experience, too.

More than 350 middle schoolers, ages 12 to 15, from around the city participated in the P.A.L. Pennant Quest. The theme was “traveling through time,” with each group learning about a different period, including the Stone Age, Haitian revolution, the Roaring Twenties, the Golden Age of Piracy and Women’s Rights movement, among many others.

It’s all an effort to prevent the “summer slide."

“Summer slide is the learning students lose in between the end of the school year and the beginning of the next,” Dana Wheeler, the director of education for the Police Athletic League, told PIX11 News. “Children in low income areas can lose up to two months more than people in other groups. So focus is now on the summer slide."

Besides learning chants about the different time periods, kids were most excited by the Knowledge Bowl, where one member of their team had to answer questions about their time period within five seconds to move on to the next hula hoop.

“Warren Harding was the 29th president from 1921 to 1923,” Fanta Keita, 12, told PIX11 News.

Phoenix Acevedo, 11, answered questions about women’s rights with a rapid fire delivery.

“Since I’m female gender, it’s really important to learn about my past and my gender,” Acevedo told PIX11 News.

And for most of these middle schoolers, this day camp was a way to have fun and learn a lot about history.

Caiden Toney, 12, liked learning about the Harlem Renaissance.

“It was about black peoples and the freedom they got to do the things they couldn’t do,” he said.

Hopefully, there is no “summer slide” here. Camp ends next week and school starts a month later.

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