MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Kindergarten through fifth grade children who are enrolled in an area summer enrichment program held for students aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River hosted their End of the Summer School Celebration at the Tarawa Terrace II Elementary School, July 22.
The program is a summer enrichment program designed to keep the children active and academically challenged over the summer.
“We have this enrichment program once a year in the summer for the children enrolled on (MCB Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River),” said Vanessa Coleman, an area teacher in charge of the summer program. “We had a lot of volunteers, such as the Swansboro Young Marines color guard, that helped us get the summer program going, with about 85 kids from kindergarten to fifth grade who performed. It’s good for the kids and it’s good for the parents to see their children perform.”
Teams of children performed various patriotic and Disney songs for their parents and school staff. Coleman added that however fun and exciting the program may be, it still help keep the children academically sound.
Songs like “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Let’s Sing America” and “God Bless the U.S.A.,” were just a few patriotic songs to get families on their feet and singing.
“Zip A Dee Doo Dah,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Under the Sea” and “A Whole New World” were a few Disney favorites that both parents and kids enjoyed singing along to.
Several area talents also presented their skills to the audience, to provide interest and expose the younger crowd to something new. Children showcased their talents in a number of acts including cup stacking, a duet with instruments and even interpretive dance. Coleman said next year’s theme, Kaleidoscope, will bring a lot of poetry and art.
“Kids need to see that,” said Coleman. “They don’t need to just get use to their own bubble or just what’s available on base. There are other things they can be doing and there is more you can expose them to. It’s really good to get the kids engaged in something else.”
Costa Constantinou, a music specialist with Delalio Elementary School aboard Marine Corps Air Station New River, said at the end of every summer program, they all work together to put the End of Summer School Celebration together.
Constantinou added that aside from other academics during the summer program, he had the opportunity to teach the children the various songs and choreography in the celebration.
Constantinou added that he thinks the program also offers a respite to parents, especially parents with spouses who are deployed and get a break for three hours a day.
“Its enrichment, it’s not a remedial program so we’re hitting all levels of all subjects,” said Constantinou. “I just try and bring the gift of music. It’s not in the curriculum, and I wasn’t hired to teach it, (but) I feel like I should bring that gift to the table for the children. Singing, dancing and moving keeps them going.”