By: Jamie Fleishman, MD Middle School Program Coordinator
Photos courtesy of AALEAD Staff
This July, Maryland programs celebrated the start of their Summer Program at Parkland Magnet Middle School in Rockville, Maryland. Summer program participants come from middle and high schools within Montgomery County, and have the opportunity to explore and understand the 2019 theme, IGNITE: Discover Your Passion. This theme allows youth to delve deeper into understanding their own identity as well as the experience of their community members. Surrounding this theme, summer programs have workshops, art activities, and field trips where youth can grow and become more connected with their identity!
During the first week of MD summer program, Summer Youth Program Coordinators (SYPCs) started the summer off with an IGNITE themed skit, and youth created their team chant and participated in team building activity such as creating a Rube Goldberg Machine: a series of complicated contraptions meant to do a simple task. Youth worked together in groups and created a contraption with at least five step, which its ultimate goal was to get a ping pong ball into a plastic cup. For some youth, this was a new and exciting project for them, while other youth felt more confident in their expertise on the subject.
Along with their team building, they were introduced to their culminating project, which they will work together and create pieces that follow the IGNITE theme. This week, youth worked together to create a storyboard about challenges that they faced in their lives. Youth shared in groups their own stories and shared to all participants what similarities and differences they may have faced.
At the end of the week, youth had a Field Day at Parkland Middle school. They enjoyed many different games including hole tarp, pukana, mango, and a scavenger hunt! Youth also enjoyed a BBQ with pizza, hot dogs, and ice cream.