Camp Milestone students give final performance before school returns

Shannon Lilly (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- Camp Milestone held its final performance of the season on Friday night.

The summer camp aims to help kids retain information they learned during the previous school year.

Twelve-year-old Bryce Jordan said before starting Camp Milestone in June, she had trouble coming out of her shell.

"I was shy actually," Jordan said. "I didn't want to do none of that. I wanted to be the quiet person."

Shy was far from the performance she gave at the final show. She hit some big notes as Nala in The Lion King.

"At first I was nervous because I was like 'How am I gonna do this!?' but they gave me confidence and they encouraged me," she said.

Camp Director and longtime educator Travie Thomas hopes all students feel that way. She wants them to perform well when school starts.

"We are aware of the deficits in reading and in math so our goal is to address those needs, address those academic areas," Thomas said. "But the success of Milestone is not only educational, but it's also recreational."

She said students at the camp engage in rigorous reading and math programs in the mornings. Then in the afternoons campers take Spanish, dance and theater classes.

"One thing I notice as an educator, my students return to school and it was like blank slates because there is tremendous learning loss over the summer," Thomas said.

Thomas said 87 percent of students who attend Camp Milestone maintained or increased their reading levels.

Parents have seen the impact.

"My four year old, she got in the car and she shocked me so bad," said parent Latoya Johnson. "She was starting to talk about Spanish. She was starting to talk about that colors and numbers and then as time went on she was singing songs in Spanish."

Thomas said all teachers at Camp Milestone are certified. She said there were enough volunteers and teachers this year to give each student one-on-one time.

She plans to continue the camp every summer for years to come.

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