Summer 2019 Newsletter – Editorial



Summer is here and our camp programs will be in full swing in July and August for over 500 children from kindergarten through high school.

In addition to allowing children to have fun, there is ample evidence that well-designed summer programs, like those run by Union Settlement, promote a child’s social, physical and cognitive skills. Children in our summer programs participate in a wide range of educational activities that help them develop new skills and utilize skills they learned during the school year, and thereby avoid the “summer slide” of lost academic abilities.

Summer camp is also important because it offers a structured opportunity for children to grow. It allows kids to become independent and self-confident, while socializing, making new friends and enjoying new experiences.

For example, our middle school students can attend a five-week Summer STEM Academy, where they have the opportunity to build model robots and learn about science, technology, engineering and math.

Our elementary school children attend a seven-week summer program, which includes sports, arts and trips out of the city.

Our high school students can attend a summer writing program that helps them develop skills for college.

Students often attend school with the same peers year after year, which can lead to labeling, being “stuck” with a particular reputation, and too often being ostracized. Those children can become quiet or withdrawn, and reluctant to engage actively at school.  But at summer camp, children meet new friends in a new environment, which allows them to be seen in a new light, and build a new confidence that carries them forward to the new academic year.

Just as importantly, children in Union Settlement’s summer programs meet and get to know our amazing staff. Our employees lead, guide and mentor youth throughout the summer, and often become role models for them.

New friendships, confidence, independence, role models and a sense of belonging. All of these things contribute to the development of children, and helps them transition into becoming strong, considerate and competent young adults. Union Settlement offers all this and more to the youth of East Harlem.

Please reach out and set up a time to stop by and see our camp programs in action!

— David Nocenti, Executive Director of Union Settlement