“This is a little boy who needs something to dream about, whether it’s catching fly balls or learning the constellations. Perhaps a summer experience would just bring a friend into his life.”
This is how one Colonial CASA volunteer describes how a summer camp experience could change the life of a young child. Thanks to a grant from WCF, 18 CASA kids will have the chance to spend a week at the YMCA camp of their choice this summer.
Colonial CASA recruits, trains, and supports court appointed advocates (CASAs) so that abused and neglected children can have the opportunity to thrive in safe and permanent homes. CASA volunteers identified a need for summer enrichment for the children they serve, many of whom were losing gains in learning as well as social and emotional skills over the summer.
“The research shows that these camp experiences can help children build self-esteem, resilience, support learning, and provide positive peer and adult relationships” explains CASA director Victoria Canady.
After piloting the program in 2019, CASA volunteers and families are thrilled to be able to offer this camp to children this year, thanks to funding from the Williamsburg Community Foundation. The children last summer were “over the moon with excitement” says Canady. One 13-year old boy got up early every morning so he would not miss the bus that brought him to camp. Another boy, aged 10 said “I wish camp could be every day of the summer!”