Summer camp officially begins at P.S. 72

Brianna Ramos, 8, shows off her hula-hoop skills on Monday, July 8, during the kick off for the summer camp held at P.S. 72.

Let the summer fun begin! Excitement filled the schoolyard of P.S. 72 during the official kick off for the summer camp program on Monday, July 6.

In its second consecutive year, the free summer camp began with funding to accommodate 150 students, expanding this year to accept up to 190 children from kindergarten through 5th grade.

The program will continue until Friday, August 28, operating Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“What we offer here is the motivation to be creative. We allow the children to be themselves and experience new things,” said Johanna Tejeda, director of the summer program from Directions for Our Youth. “We provide the kids with a safe environment and they look forward to everyday because everyday brings something different.”

The summer camp, open to all students of the Bronx, is administered by the Directions for Our Youth and is funded through the Out of School Time Program by the Department of Youth and Community Development.

This year the camp theme is sustainability; taking the children into the community to learn about and help improve their environment.

Amongst the daily field trips to various sites, the kids will be taken to clean up Pelham Bay Park and to plant trees around the community.

“This program is this community’s salvation, it saves our children from sitting in front of the TV, being on the streets, or just doing nothing,” said Principal Margarita Colon.

On it’s first day, visitors were invited to the school for tours, including Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and a representative of Councilman Jimmy Vacca, to witness the children’s daily routine.

“It’s a wonderful program,” said Benedetto. “It is a very well rounded program, which impresses me. The kids are learning nutrition and about our environment. This could be a model for what should be going on at other schools.”

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