Lacey’s Literacy Sumer Camp ends with improved grammar
Peter Lacey is on a mission to improve literacy among Belize’s children and he’s doing it through an annual summer camp for primary school students. This year, over two hundred kids participated in the city and for the first time, the camp was extended to Orange Walk where over a hundred students took part. Five weeks of activities in both locations culminated today with certificate ceremonies at the Radisson in Belize City and the Banquitas House of Culture in the north. Lacey, the Camp Coordinator, says he’s leaving the fun and games to other summer camps and focusing on making better readers and better thinkers out of the young people.
Peter Lacey, Program Coordinator, Belize City/Sugah City Summer Programs
“This morning was to send off the students that took part in the Belize City Summer Program. Two hundred and nine students took part in the program this year that was at Holy Redeemer Parish Hall. This afternoon at four o’clock we’ll be doing the final certificate presentation at Banquitas House of Culture and that is for the hundred and seventeen students that took part in the program in Orange Walk Town.”
“So they’re receiving their certificates of completion.”
“Yes, certificates of completion as well in Orange Walk.”
“So can you tell us a bit about some of the things that these kids did at the camp?”
“Over the five weeks, they did reading, phonics, creative writing—depending on the age range—and the standard six did P.S.E. preparation. Basically, the program is to give them a head start on the upcoming school year. So they have eight weeks of holiday and we occupied them for five of the eight weeks. So we keep their minds sharp.”
“Did you manage to mix in any fun into that?”
“Yes, we did arts and craft, we had a sports day so we tried to mix and match. I’m very adamant about literacy among our children. I always say we can leave the arts and crafts and the sports to someone else. I have a goal and an objective in terms of the programs that I run. Next year is the tenth year. It will be the tenth year that I’m doing the program. Since the inception of the program in 2004, roughly about one thousand, eight hundred and fifty students have passed through the program including this year’s intake and we are looking to put two more programs next year but we still have to plan it and then we’ll market it.”
For next year, Lacey says he will reach out to more residents in the villages of Orange Walk and he has plans to expand to other districts in the future.