More than 300 College Students Begin Training to Work in Say Yes Summer Camps

More than 300 college students, representing 46 colleges and universities, will be on the Syracuse University campus on Monday, June 13, to train at the Say Yes Summer Institute to become summer enrichment specialists for the 2011 Say Yes to Education Summer Camp. The Summer Institute is a weeklong intensive training program that incorporates project-based lesson planning, cultural relevance, engagement strategies and leadership development. SU faculty, community artists and Syracuse City School District (SCSD) teachers and administrators will prepare the enrichment specialists to lead engaging programs with the K-5 summer camp students.

The Say Yes Summer Institute will officially open at 8:30 a.m. at Hendricks Chapel with an address from Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, along with ballet and African drumming performances by McKinley Brighton students. Following the opening ceremony, the enrichment specialists will engage in adventure-based learning experiences with Team Adventure on SU’s Kenneth A. Shaw Quad. Team Adventure is a Central New York company that organizes professional development workshops to improve team performance, develop creative problem solving and resolve conflicts.

“Our hope is that our college students enhance their skills and expand their knowledge right along with the children that they will be working with in the camps this summer,” says Rachael Gazdick, executive director of Say Yes to Education.

Approximately 3,500 SCSD children, ages 7-10, who attend one of 18 schools in the district, will take part in the Say Yes to Education Summer Camp that runs July 5-29. The camps are designed to tap into the intellectual gifts and talents of young people through hands-on activities, creative thinking and positive social interaction.

Campers will spend their mornings engaged in challenging academic programs in line with the Urban Teacher’s Calendar, and their afternoons in outdoor enrichment activities including sports, music, photography, dance, theater, nature, science and field trips.

Say Yes Summer Camp will culminate with a summer festival in Thornden Park on Wednesday, July 27, where students will showcase their work and demonstrate the new skills and talents that they have developed throughout their summer camp experience. Nearly 4,000 people are expected to attend this year.

The camps are offered free of charge and run Monday-Friday. For more information, contact Susan Dutch, director of marketing for Say Yes to Education, at 443-1525 or