Week 2 & 3 of LEAP Into Literacy Summer Camp

Written by: Esther Kim

Esther Kim taught English in Korea for 3 years and for 8 years after that owned a private after-school education centre in Thornhill, Ontario teaching high school English, K-8 Language Arts, and ESL. She is an Ontario certified teacher, currently working as a supply teacher for TDSB. She has been part of Leacock’s Saturday program at Derrydown Public school since 2013 and taught her first summer LEAP into Literacy at Derrydown Public School in 2014.

Leap Camp Week 2: 

This week, we had exciting trips for the students. Students took a nature walk at the Kortright Centre and learned about ways we can help to sustain our environment, had a visit from Brick Door Lego where students were directed to use their imaginations to build a small community out of Lego, and swam at Havergal College – because summer isn’t summer without a cool dip in the water!

My grade 5 class this week watched a documentary about the story behind the commodity corn, used mainly as animal feed and in food additives, requiring chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and a lot of processing to become food products; and the heirloom tomato whose seeds have been saved and passed down through generations, grown organically and sold at farmer’s markets close to the farm. Students worked with a Venn Diagram to compare the similarities and differences between the paths of these two foods from seed to fork. It became a very active discussion as we revisited what it meant to eat our way to a sustainable future. Students have already started to come up with ideas for their film projects.

Leap Camp Week 3:

This week students started their storyboard for the films about the path of their chosen food. They have also created movie posters for the bulletin board outside our classroom. They are making connections to the impact that their food choices have on the environment and their communities.

The two students who thought they couldn’t work well together didn’t seem too disappointed when, through a draw, found that they would be each other’s co-MC’s to introduce the films to the parents at our red carpet film festival. I am starting to have confidence in both of them working this out together.

We also had a packed week of guests and activities in the school. We had scientists in the school, exotic animals coming to visit (even a Kangaroo!), indoor curling, and swimming at Havergal. I can tell that these experiences mean a lot to these students. Some of these students come from immigrant families whose parents work two jobs to support the family. They all come from parents who work hard, value education, and make the effort to support their child’s learning needs. I am grateful to the parents for taking advantage of this fully-funded summer camp. I have come to see from this year’s camp that these experiences do matter to the kids – academically, socially, and emotionally. They form bonds with their peers, teachers, and even themselves as they experience something outside the regular school year. The weeks have gone by fast. I know the students are not wishing for the camp to end – like they did with the school year!



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