Learn­ing Cen­ter takes on sum­mer camps

The Advance of Bucks County - - BRISTOL AREA - By El­iz­a­beth Fisher

Ad­vance cor­re­spon­dent BRIS­TOL BOR­OUGH - The coun­cil voted at its meet­ing Mon­day night to turn over its Kinder­garten-to-Grade-three sum­mer pro­gram to the Bris­tol Bor­ough 21st Cen­tury Com­mu­nity Learn­ing Cen­ter. The bor­ough will pay the cen­ter $24,000 for the -uly 8 to Aug. 29 pro­gram. The cost is higher than the $21,000 the bor­ough pays for its own sum­mer camp, but that lasts only six weeks.

Gene Wil­liams, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Grundy Foun­da­tion, said the pro­posal for K-3 mir­rors the pro­grams al­ready avail­able to the up­per grades.

“Th­ese camps are about hav­ing fun and be­ing creative. If the bor­ough un­der­writes the K-3 pro­gram, we can use the same staff [hired by the bor­ough],” Wil­liams said.

All ac­tiv­i­ties are free and avail­able to any young per­son that at­tends any one of the bor­ough schools, he said.

Mary Ge­sualdi, Ti­tle co­or­di­na­tor at Sny­der-Girotti, out­lined the com­po­nents of the pro­gram: mu­sic, po­etry, art, sports - stress­ing ex­po­sure to sports, not fo­cus­ing on ex­per­tise - science, tech­nol­ogy, math and lit­er­acy. Ses­sions will be held in half days. Morn­ing pro­grams run from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Af­ter­noon ses­sions will be 12 to 3:30 p.m. Free lunch will be served to all par­tic­i­pants from noon to 12:30, Ge­sualdi said.

The bor­ough will hire the coun­selors for the K-3 pro­gram and ap­pli­ca­tions can be found at www.bris­tol­bor­ough.com. Coun­cil­man Tony Devine, a teacher in the Ne­shaminy School Dis­trict, vol­un­teered his ser­vices to work with any spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion stu­dents.

Ge­sualdi praised the bor­ough for be­ing open to the col­lab­o­ra­tion with the com­mu­nity cen­ter.

I“I be­lieve Bris­tol will be the only town in Bucks County that pro­vides free sum­mer camp for grades K-12, and that’s what I call rais­ing the bar,” Ge­sualdi said.

She is re­fer­ring to the motto adopted by the Bris­tol Bor­ough Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee, founded in Au­gust and com­prised of bor­ough busi­ness peo­ple, pro­fes­sion­als and cit­i­zens who have been work­ing on ways to mar­ket the town to de­vel­op­ments busi­nesses, res­i­dents and vis­i­tors.

The Bris­tol Bor­ough 21st Cen­tury Com­mu­nity Learn­ing Cen­ter is an af­ter-school pro­gram that pro­vides chil­dren who go to school in the bor­ough with aca­demic as­sis­tance, mu­sic, art, sports and other free ac­tiv­i­ties. The pro­grams run on fed­eral grants, but the cen­ter’s ad­vi­sory over­sight com­mit­tee is look­ing for ways to make them self­sup­port­ing once the grants run out.

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