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Winston-Salem chronicle. (Winston-Salem, N.C.) 1974-current, July 07, 2016, Page A4, Image 4

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SciTech program prepares campers for the future Since 2011 SciTech Summer Enrichment program has intro duce<f hundreds of students to STEM though hands-on experiments and filed trips. Director Denise Johnson said, the summer camp is a general STEM experience combined with different flavors of particular topics. Students work together to create a wind turbine that can create sustainable energy for a fictional village on Tuesday, June 22 during the SciTech summer enrichment program held at Paisley Middle School. The summer camp is designed to introduce students to the exciting world of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics). BY TEVLN STINSON THE CHRONICLE Most children kicked off their summer vacation a few weeks ago by ditching their books for the pool or . the beach. But, for a select group of students who par ticipated in this year's' , SciTech summer program, the calming sounds of waves crashing onto the beach is nothing compared to the excitement of start ing summer break in a fully functional science lab. Since 2011 the program sponsored by the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter has introduced students to the exciting world of STEM ? (Science, Technplogy, Engineering and Mathematics), through hands-on experiments, classroom lessons, and field trips. Program direc tor and associate professor of education at Winston Salem State University Denise Johnson saidSciTech is a general STEM experience com bined with different flavors of particular topics. Johnson noted, along with keeping students' minds fresh during the summer months. SciTech also prepares students who are ready to go into the workforce. She said during each lesson students are given a real world issue and asked to work in groups to find a solution to the problem. Priced at only S10 per student, SciTech is also an affordable alternative to other summer camps that charge more than $100. "In order to create a systemic population of people who are ready for jobs in North Carolina you have to get them interested early. You cannot wait until they're high school or col lege bound," she said. "We have to make sure a children are prepared to make a difference in our communities." According to Johnson, this year's theme was sus tainabiiity. She said they chose that topic because there have been so many sustainable issues dis cussed on the news and in the media. "Both physical and social sustainable issues need to be reinvented," she continued. "For example, the Flint, Michigan, water issues was a science issue but it was also a social issue." During an interview with The Chronicle, Johnson said, moving for ward we're going to need young people who are interested in those types of issue. "They hear about these issues on the news or from their parents, but what is an action they can take? "That's what SciTech is all about introducing stu dents to jobs that focus on solving these issues. These are careers and we have to ensure our students are interested in them." This year, more than 100 students spent the first weeks of their vacation building wind turbines and thinking of other ways to bring sustainable ener gyand water to a fictional village. Allison Bonner, a stu dent at Walkertown Middle School, said what she enjoys most about the camp is the experiments and the field trips they take to places like WSSU, Wake Forest, and businesses throughout the region that specialize in STEM. "I like that it's very interactive," she said. "We get to do a lot of hand's on activities that we don't usu ally do in a tegular class room." Bonner, who also attended the camp last year, said although English is her favorite subject, after par ticipating in SciTech the past two summers she has become more interested in science and making the world a better place. First time camper Charline Tucker, who is home schooled, admits after first having doubts about the camp she quickly realized that SciTech was nothing like she expected in a classroom setting the instructors make it enjoy able. "I usually don't go to camps like this but it's real ly been awesome. Even the math classes are really cool," said Tucker. "They do a really good job of bal ancing fun and school." Funding will help families with young children SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE Family Services announces has that a col laboration of five leading community agencies has received grants from three major community funding organizations for a project that will improve the lives of families with young children in vulnerable neighborhoods. The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the United Way of Forsyth County and The Winston Salem Foundation, all in Winston-Salem, have joined resources to provide more than $1.4 million to support the development and launch of a family suc cess collaborative called Strong@Home, which will address issues of poverty for families and school readiness for children in these families. Strong? Home is a col laboration of Family Services with Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina, Financial Pathways of the Piedmont, Imprints Cares, and Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County. Working together, the project will help low-income parents and their children thrive as each partner provides evi dence-based programs that are designed to overcome barriers to success. "Poverty falls especial ly hard on families with young children. Parents often lack sufficient educa tion, marketable job skills, and affordable bousing," said Bob Feikema, presi dent and CEO of Family Services, the lead agency in the project. "Poverty produces unremitting stress and can lead to behavioral health prob lems. Parents are hard pressed to find the time and energy to parent effective ly. And, when resources are 9 limited at home and in the neighborhood, children too often arc not ready to suc ceed when they enter school." "Unfortunately, one in five residents in our com munity currently lives in poverty," said Cindy Gordineer, president and CEO, United Way of Forsyth County. "We know that poverty doesn't relate only to the finances of a family. It also impacts chil dren's educational success, their health and general well-being. That's why solutions to the challenge of poverty need to be equally interconnected, which is exactly what Strong@Home is attempt ing to achieve." The United Way awarded $266351, and The Winston-Salem Foundation granted $100300 toward the first year of the project. The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust has awarded $800000 over the next three years, and the Family Services Head Start program will contribute $96,250 each year, making the initial commitment to the anti-poverty and school readiness project a total of $1,455,901. Scott Wierman, presi dent of The Winston-Salem Foundation, noted, "This is a great example of a col laborative effort by local funding organizations to help local families and their children succeed first by identifying and utilizing family and neighborhood assets. That is what Asset Based Community Development is all about, and we wholeheartedly support it." Feikema said that a project of this scope is unprecedented in Forsyth County and sets a new standard for how organiza tions can work together to improve the well-being of families with preschool children. "We're breaking new ground," he said. "Thanks to the support of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, The Winston-Salem Foundation, the United Way of Forsyth County, Head Start, and our partner agencies, Strong@Home has the potential to trans form how families use human services to improve their lives and their neigh borhoods." "The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust has long been committed to helping Forsyth County residents improve their quality of life," said Joe Crocker, ? director of the Trust's Poor and Needy Division. "We are proud to support "Strong@Home" because it allows us to help families dealing with poverty, as well as invest in school readiness efforts for our community's youngest children, which is a critical piece of our long-term Great Expectations initia tive." "We are grateful to these community leaders for endorsing our collec tive efforts to ensure that young children will be able to grow and develop in a nurturing home and com munity," said Feikema. Beginning in the fall, 100 families enrolled in Head Start and SO families with young children in Boston-Thurmond will become members of Strong@Home. Six family advocates will work on behalf of the families to connect them to the servic es of the partner agencies. In addition, family mem bers will draw upon their own talents and skills to help achieve their goals and assist other families in the project. Come support services that provide compassionate patient care and encouragement for their families. Ride departs at 11:00 AM Saturday, rain or shine. July 16th from Denton FarmParfc and returns for a hot dog lunch from noon to 2:00 PM. Day-of-ride registration from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM. Preregister to save and receive a 0 ery commemorative Ride for Angels patch. D^dson Cotlnty Presenting Sponsor 2V^?i?S c Vaunts Insurance " OT A^JurltLo 200 Hospice Way ? Lexington, NC 27292 ? 336-475-5444 ? HMjj IM ? Kb I

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