Learning Through Play: Summer Camp Days with Give and Surf

Today is “back to school!” time in Panama though it’s never too early to re-live those summer vacation glory days vicariously through our friends at Give and Surf. Today we share our report from the front lines of the English Immersion Summer Camp, February 7, 2024:

Summer vacation is in full swing for the local kids of Bocas! With over two and half months off from school between December and early March, there is a lot of free time for fun to be had, but sadly it can also mean that there is a lot of unsupervised time and learning loss for those youth most at-risk.

Give and Surf is stoked to be serving some of those kids who are most vulnerable in their English Immersion Summer Camps being offered in Bocas and Bastimentos. These programs run for four hours daily and are sponsored by the U.S. Embassy of Panama. The response has been incredible! In Bocas last year, attendance was around 15-20 children per day; in summer camp, they are 50-60 children attending daily! And Bastimentos and Cristobal each have 25-30 kids attending daily.

Local youth are immersed in English while participating in a wide range of activities from arts & crafts and sports to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and outdoor play. The Give & Surf philosophy is encouraging learning through play and developing a child holistically including academic, social, and emotional development. Executive Director, Emily Talentino, says “The goal is to develop the entire child, build their confidence, inspire their creativity, and expose them to as many activities as possible. This way they discover their passions and learn to dream big at a young age.”

The Give and Surf local teachers are amazing mentors and role models for the youth and are supported by both local and international volunteers. Together they all create a safe, fun learning environment where kids can thrive as they learn, play and grow!

Give and Surf just held their 10th annual Back-to-School Fundraiser, February 24, 2024 at El Ultimo Refugio, where they raised over $11,000!  A fantastic way to start the school year.  Don’t worry if you missed the event, you can still contribute to their fundraising campaign by making a 501(c)3 tax deductible donation here: https://giveandsurf.org/donate

Learn more about Give and Surf on their website; volunteer opportunities, service projects, education programs, college tuition sponsorship and other opportunities to support this amazing impactful organization.

The Bocas Breeze is a digital and print newspaper proudly serving the Bocas del Toro community since 2004; reporting news, advertising local businesses and promoting tourism in Bocas del Toro, Panama.

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