Program’s Focus Is On Water Education
UNICEF representative Katia Stefanatou and Ridgewood YMCA Day Camp Director Cortnie McGinnis brought hands-on learning enrichment programs to camp participants on Monday, July 23.
UNICEF, a global organization that strives to offer innovative education programs, aligned with the Ridgewood Y’s summer learning objectives to create a unique four-week program for day camp children.
Stefanatou and McGinnis ensured that UNICEF programming integrated the 2012 camp theme and focus of “I Love New York.” In doing so, each of the four week programs link world issues with local community focuses.
The first program facilitated by UNICEF focused on the importance of water and staying healthy. Kids learned about how other kids and families in countries such as Africa, do not have access to fresh water and how many kids miss school because they are required to find and carry water back to their village.
Pictures of kids in other countries were displayed while the campers discussed with Stefanatou how they have access to clean water. The campers were fascinated that kids in other countries do not have access to clean water and that many kids have never seen a water fountain.
Ridgewood Y staff assisted the campers in creating drawings that symbolized how they receive clean water. Campers age eight to 12 par- ticipated in hands-on teambuilding activity where they gained a better understanding about how water resources are scarce in other countries.
How can you save more water? Campers thought about this question and shared with others at their table things they can do to conserve water. Campers stated that they will shut off faucets when they are done, take shorter baths, and use re-useable water bottles.
Stefanatou passed around a water jug that UNICEF provides to families overseas so that it is easier to carry water back to their villages. She then explained how UNICEF provides a variety of resources, including food and soap.
The Ridgewood Y campers passed around biscuits that when mixed with water became porridge. Campers learned about what they can do within their own community to stay healthy such as frequently washing their hands, drinking water throughout the day, and conserving the water that they do use.
UNICEF returned to Ridgewood on Monday, Aug. 6 teaching diversity, global citizenship, and the how programs in Manhattan serve a variety of populations.