First Five to Continue Kinder Camp Early

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ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Fall is right around the corner, and many parents and students may be thinking about the upcoming school year, but with uncertainty on how classrooms will operate this fall.

Every summer First 5 Permian Basin has helped incoming kinder garden students and their parents prepare for their first year of school, by giving them an inside look of a local elementary school.

But the ongoing coronavirus outbreak here in the basin has forced them to change how they will do that.

“I am a parent of ECISD and that was a drive for me personally and for us as a whole to use this an a opportunity,” Jordan Sosa, the First 5 program manager said.

“The traditional camp gave us the social-emotional piece,” Sosa said. “Of course now we don’t get to meet that exactly in the same way but we do have a different opportunity with virtual in that we can really actually stick with First 5’s overall mission in engaging a family.”

While new kindergarten students won’t get the chance to experience what their first classroom will be like physically, Sosa says First 5’s new virtual camp will now allow parents to interact with their child’s learning.

They’ll actually get to do the activities with their children,” Sosa said. “They’ll get to be their child’s first teacher, they’ll get the practice of working on assignments with their children, and they’ll get the adjusted experience for them what it will be like for them to do math with their child they may not have done before.”

While the camp will provide video lessons and interactive learning activities, Sosa hopes First 5 guides parents on how to navigate online learning if classrooms were to become virtual this fall.

“A parent you know comes in with an issue and says ‘I don’t understand how to turn in an assignment’ we can actually just give them a call directly and say ‘Hey let me walk you through this so you can be able to do this in the future,'” Sosa said.

Most of all, Sosa hopes they’ll get parents to be confident in sending their kids to school, whatever form it may be.

“We want to be able to be able to help with that so that once we hand it over to partners at the school district they’ll be prepared, and ready to advocate for themselves and for their kids to get the answers they need and to get the help that they need,” Sosa said.

First 5 will also offer online kinder camp in Spanish. Their goal is to get one hundred students to participate this summer.

The virtual camp for Odessa will be held from July 13-17 and Midland’s virtual camp will be held on July 27-31.

The link to register for the this summer’s camp can be found on First 5’s Facebook page.

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