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Jul 22, 2022

Teacher Johnson’s Summer Camp Concludes in Dangriga

It’s the end of a two-week summer camp at Tina Johnson’s free tutoring program. The kids have completed the academic session of the camp, but it was surely not short of fun. What began as an initiative to keep kids engaged academically during the pandemic, has blossomed into a registered program and a growing number of kids, now over sixty. But the selfless educator says it takes a village, and she is only a vessel acting her passion. Sabreena Daly met the famous Teacher Johnson and even accompanied her and the students on the final trip of their summer camp on this week’s summer outlook of the bright side.


Sabreena Daly, Reporting

It was a journey from a different part of the country this morning. Teacher Johnson headed out as early as six o’clock to start the last adventure day for her summer camp. Her students say they didn’t sleep. The trip took us to the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center.  We accompanied Johnson and the kids on their final day of activities.

Tina Johnson

Tina Johnson, Johnson’s Free Tutoring Program
“This is, I would say, our second summer because I started last year but I said I wanted to do it a little bit different this year. Because we can’t have them sit inside the classroom all day just executing lessons. In a fun way, making sure they grasp the concepts, being outside is fun as well.”


For Johnson, the concept of fun while learning is not new. In fact, if her face seems familiar, it’s because she’s arguably the teacher of the year during the pandemic. She opened a free tutoring program in Dangriga when it was most needed. Amid a global pandemic, where many lost their jobs and kids transitioned to online learning, Johnson built a makeshift classroom in her backyard. And the kids came pouring in.

Tina Johnson
“I started a tutoring program last year summer during the high peek of the pandemic because I see the need because our babies have been out of the classrooms for two years. So, I said, why not offer my service because I know the know-how because I’m a trained teacher with a bachelor’s degree in primary education and two certificates from U.W.I. So why not? Teaching is my passion and I know these babies have been lacking concept, so I decided to start a tutoring program and because of the SI that was set in place, we could only have a certain amount in an area for a certain amount of time. So last year we started off with twenty-five students.”


It’s not twenty-five anymore. In only a year, the number has almost tripled. But the necessary help is coming from teachers and parents.

Kyra Sutherland

Kyra Sutherland, Assistant teacher
“I’ve been teaching for the past six years and this is the first summer program that I came to assist Mrs. Johnson.”


Elroy Martinez

Elroy Martinez, Parent
As a parent, I feel so good to know that a program like this exist simply because of what we have been going through because of the pandemic, it was just right for a program like this to come about.”


Kesha Reynolds

Kesha Reynolds, Parent
 “This is something that I think our community needed. Especially since it’s free, it’s even better.”

Kids would enroll in Johnson’s free tutoring program to keep up with their core subjects during the pandemic. When face-to-face classes resumed, her tutoring program evolved into an after-school session, where Johnson would come home from work and do it all over again by helping with assignments and class projects; everything free of cost.

Tina Johnson

“Some parents would call and say, miss can my child come? I guess because they see the videos and the different pictures that I would post on social media to let the public know how much fun we are having while learning. They would call and be so appreciative that when the child goes to school and semester reports are being distributed, they would call and say Mrs. Johnson this is what my child got and they would say thank you so much for all your input that you have done with my child, for the patience, for taking the time out of your time, leaving everything behind and for just dealing with our kids. We are really grateful for it.”

Then summer came around, and unlike most kids, they were not ready for school to end—at least, not Mrs. Johnson’s school. But how do you make summer fun while learning? For Johnson, it’s work and play. Week one was dedicated to academics, but this week was filled with various events on different days. From sports day, pool day to a career day where community members spoke about their respective jobs. Today, the last day, they left their community.


Tina Johnson

“Teaching is my passion. So, seeing my babies so excited and you know, being here at the zoo it’s the first time for some of them. That’s the joy that any teacher would want to see. That’s my joy for my babies.”


And the joy is spread across the entire group. Kids who enjoy learning promise a bright future. After a day’s commute to see the world outside of their youthful perspective, there was only one feeling going home. Looking on the Bright side, I’m Sabreena Daly.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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