There was no shortage of smiles at St. Vincent de Paul Louisville’s Family Success Center (FSC) this summer.
“It was important to give them a safe, structured environment, especially during the summer,” said Kendra Hayes, the new FSC Program Manager. “We had about a couple dozen students who had never stepped foot on our campus, so it was nice to see a lot of new faces.”
In partnership with JCPS and Evolve502, the FSC hosted its first “Backpack League” summer camp Monday through Friday from June 21 to July 14 for roughly 25 incoming 1st-8th graders.
“I’ve had a pleasant experience,” said Iman Jackson, an English teacher at Seneca High School who taught middle school students. “It’s pretty amazing the way SVDP incorporated the community with its summer programming.”
“They had a great variety of enrichments,” added Darin Gray, a game design/computer science teacher at Valley High School.
The “enrichments” students enjoyed were a videographer showing them how to shoot a commercial, Bricks 4 Kidz creating robotics, art/theatre with Faith Works Studios, and music from Kidsview Louisville.
“I liked robotics, art, and gym,” said Claudine, a middle schooler. “My favorite thing was coming with my sister … but I also made new friends.”
Kela Pierre, a psychology student at the University of Louisville, is a tutor with Evolve502. She helped with the elementary-aged students.
“I enjoyed engaging the kids and building a small relationship with them. They’re sweet and can be intense at times,” Pierre said. “I think our kids respected each other and learned that it’s OK to be different from someone.”
Ricky was one of those elementary students.
“I liked the enrichments that came here and also the ‘thinkLaw’s.’ That’s a book that has work every day. It has questions in it and you raise your hand to answer,” Ricky said.
The FSC also held its own summer camp from July 17 to Aug. 4 for incoming 1st-8th graders. There were about 30 students that live in our supportive housing on campus or in the neighboring Smoketown and Shelby Park areas who attended.