After holding the camp virtually in 2020, Keeping Pace will welcome around 60 scholars to campus again for the 16th straight year of the event. Last summer, there was an increased emphasis on academic enrichment, with the kids’ inability to physically be on Pace fields or in the pool due to the pandemic.
However, this year, the fifth through eighth-graders who attend the summer program will enjoy masked, in-person classes taught by Pace teachers and students and health activities such as swimming or fitness. The camp supplies the scholars with necessary materials, transportation and two meals during the 8 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. day.
This year’s camp will see many changes to keep the scholars and teachers safe, but there will also be a change in leadership. Associate Director of ICGL and upper school history teacher Ted Ward plans to step into the director position. “We’re just in the midst of a transition where we’re shifting responsibilities, and it’s a longer transition than just one year to the next. It’s a long-term strategy,” said Mr. Ward. Martha Assaf, who has run the camp in years past, will still be involved during this shift in responsibilities.
At camp, the curriculum includes math tutoring, English classes with a poetry and writing component led by lower school teacher Patrice Wright and a brand new STEAM program headed by Dr. Kaylan Haizlip. “Now we’re going to have STEAM every day of camp,” said Mr. Ward. “Whereas before, we would have done something like a STEAM project for one week only in the afternoons.”
“The focus will be on finding an issue that [the scholars] want to solve and then solving that issue,” said Dr. Haizlip. “So, our role is to have [the scholars] come with a problem, come up with a solution, design the solution to that problem, sketch it out, and then actually create the solution to that problem.” Along with academics, the scholars usually take a trip off campus. This year’s scholars will attend the Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum in downtown Atlanta in keeping with the civil rights theme.
Pace students can sign up to work a week at Keeping Pace to help tutor scholars in math, reading, swimming, tennis or fitness. There are also positions available to serve as a group counselor for the scholars. The summer program spans five and a half weeks, starting in June and ending early in July. Tutoring or counseling for only one week in the summer fulfills a student’s full service hours requirement to graduate.
Working with the scholars can be very rewarding as well. “My three years at Keeping Pace consisted of remarkable moments and cherished memories with the campers, which I will remember for the rest of my life,” said senior Justin Johnson.