Summer Fun with Summer Dreamers

Kelly Staff Image

School’s out for summer, but summer camps are about to begin! Many summer camps across the city visit Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) locations as part of their camp schedule. Because of this, campers participate in the Summer Reading program, win free books, learn and play in our spaces and strengthen relationships with our staff. 

One of the camps we have a long-running partnership with is Pittsburgh Public Schools’ (PPS) Summer Dreamers Academy (SDA).  Summer Dreamers Academy is a no-cost, summer learning camp that offers high-quality academic lessons and engaging enrichment activities to current PPS students who have completed grades K-8 to help prevent “summer slide”.  

Kids learn about building video games with Bloxels.

Last year, CLP’s School Age BLAST (Bringing Libraries and Schools Together) team saw students in grades K-4 at all three camp locations: PPS King, PPS Arlington and PPS Obama.  
 
For four weeks, BLAST Outreach Specialists led fun and engaging read alouds and hands-on activities. All programs centered on the collaborative summer reading theme “Libraries Rock!” and BLAST facilitated two book giveaways, in which all students were able to choose a book from a selection of grade-level appropriate titles to take home. 
 
Our Teenspace staff visited the 5th graders at these camp locations, as well as the 6th-8th graders at PPS UPrep. We brought Summer Reading and tech-related activities, and like BLAST, facilitated weekly book giveaways for each camper. 
 
One of BLAST’s favorite programs from last summer was with the 4th grade classes. It was centered on tech industry careers, and students were able to travel through stations with activities based on various careers. Stations included, being an app developer, video game designer, engineer, computer programmer and more. Many of the activities were student-driven, authentic learning experiences where students problem-solved as a team. They designed video game characters on the Bloxel app, built roller coasters from pool noodles and completed LEGO building challenges. 

Fourth graders build a roller coaster during last year's Summer Dreamers Academy. 
Over the course of SDA 2018, BLAST conducted 154 programs to over 3,000 participants, while Teen Specialists interacted with 1,080 teens during 36 programs.  
 
If you have a camper who is in Summer Dreamers Academy or another local summer camp and they come home with a colorful CLP-branded bag, know it means they’re reading, learning and playing with us this summer!  

Kelly F. is part of the School Age BLAST Outreach team. She enjoys amateur drumming, exploring the various neighborhoods of Pittsburgh and snuggling with her kitties, La Lune and Spot.