Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Mathematics By Elizabeth Marquez, Citlali Xantzin, and Diana Olivera

Mathematics By: Citlali Xantzin, Diana Olivera, and Elizabeth Marquez, 

Mathematics is a study of quantity, structure, and change.  Although, it’s hard to admit, we need math in our everyday lives.  For example, we use math to tell time, count money, and to measure ingredients in recipes. Math can also help one make economically wise decisions. There is also a variety of careers that involve math, such as business owners, engineers, surgeons, accountants, and more. Having the ability to do math determines how well we can solve problems. Most young girls need self-confidence to practice and succeed in math.  At Summit, we encourage them to learn and work hard so their confidence increases throughout the summer. 

In the Summit summer program, the girls participate in a 45 minute math class. During this period, the counselors and junior counselors tutor the girls at their level. Children learn better when they are educated by someone they are comfortable with. We’ve gotten to know our campers very well this summer and now they do not hesitate to seek help. As junior counselors, we have experienced academic struggles in elementary and middle school (especially math) and can relate to our campers.  Attending the summer program gave us confidence and shaped our math skills. We felt advanced entering the next grade.

At Summit we also connect games in the math lessons for the girls to understand the concept better.  This helps to engage every girl. “I’ve learned quite a lot at Summit.  It’s helping me prepare for my upcoming year at school and I feel more advanced now.” –Crystal (from team 4). These math lessons help campers to retain the material throughout the summer.  Even though some are unaware of their math abilities, they will all be better prepared for the start of the school year.  

Citlali (left): Junior at St. Anthony High School, This is her first year at Summit, and she is exploring all career options.

Diana (right): Freshman at St. Thomas More High School, She spent five summers as a camper before becoming a junior counselor this year. She is also undecided and exploring multiple career options with the help of the career speakers.

Elizabeth: Senior at Carmen High School, This is her first year in the Summit summer program.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Career Speakers by Franchesca Torres and Sammy Ramirez Olivera

Having Career speakers every week is one of the many benefits of attending Summit. These speakers come every Friday and inform the girls about their careers, the education it took to get there, and any other aspects that are involved with their jobs.

Each career speaker exposes the girls to something new, with a different career path and experiences than the last. The basic points they all hit include their educational path, the pros and cons of working in their field, what makes the job different from others, and other things that the girls might be interested in asking.

In the past we have had firefighters, a judge, teachers, engineers, and various professionals in the medical field, including nurses and physical therapists. This year we even had the Cimorelli sisters, an all-girls music group formed from a family of 6 sisters.

Aside from speakers that have already worked within their careers for some time, the junior counselors have also spoken with different college students. We recently went to Marquette University for a presentation by two computer science majors. This was helpful learning about their career and also about college life, courses and more. The two students were juniors working and studying with different robotics and coding programs. They talked about the many career fields they could go into post-graduation. They even informed us about programs they have hosted for girls interested in math and science. In the junior counselor program we receive character, reading, and writing classes. We have a wider variety of career speakers, including professors from various colleges at Marquette University.

Overall having career speakers is a part of Summit that makes a great difference in the girls’ lives by preparing them at a young age to start thinking about college and choosing a career path. Career speakers prove that by working hard anyone can achieve their dreams.

Franky (left): Sophomore at Ronald Reagan High School, She was a camper for 4 years and a 2 junior counselor for two. She wants to be an international bilingual teacher.

Sammy (right): Sophomore at St. Anthony High School, This is Sammy’s first year at Summit. She wants to join the army and study nursing.

Importance of Reading by Ruby Barrios and Alma Nunez

Importance of Reading by Ruby Barrios and Alma Nunez

Every day during the summer program, the campers participate in half a day of academics. This includes a 45 minute period of reading.  In every reading class there are at the most two teams, and each team has about 15 girls. The girls are then split into smaller reading groups among the counselors and JC’s. The counselors in the reading room make sure that they have created a safe learning environment for their campers. Usually there are fun hands-on activities paired with the readings. These are completed before, after, or during the oral reading of the group’s selected book.  If someone isn’t doing their work the JC will make sure she helps the girls who may be struggling. Smaller groups allow students to read aloud more frequently and have more one-on-one attention with their teacher.

 When my group of girls and I are done with a chapter, we go around the circle and state what just happened in our own words. We talk about likes, dislikes, the difference between fact and opinion, and more. I also ask each girl what they thought the chapter meant and how it contributes to the overall story. Reviewing the story and providing answers to all of the camper’s questions is made possibly with small group sizes.

Reading in smaller groups helps the girls focus on the book. It also allows them to read aloud, to practice their fluency, and to participate in comprehension discussions. Comprehension is a necessary skill that is difficult for the students at times. It is one thing we are really focusing on improving at Summit. Apart from working on fluency and comprehension, our reading classes also help instill a love of reading in a way that reaches beyond school hours.

Personally, Summit has expanded both of our reading interests and preferred genres.  It has given us practice and experience in understanding and analyzing books. We know that one day the campers will also be grateful for Summit’s reading classes.

Alma (left): Sophomore at Ronald Reagan High School, This is her first summer at Summit. She is still exploring various career options.

Ruby (right): Sophomore at Audobon High School, She was a camper for 4 years and is now in her second summer as a junior counselor. She aspires to be an engineer.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Sports by Liliana De La O and Natalie Perez

Sports by Liliana De La O and Natalie Perez
The Summit summer program dedicates its day, half to academics and character, and the other half to sports.  Even though academics are seen as a big factor of the program, we also focus on encouraging girls to be more active in their daily life. This is why Summit provides a variety of different traditional and modern activities which help build sportsmanship and friendship among the girls.  

Summit’s program provides a variety of classic sports and other physical activities. The girls learn the rules and foundational skills for soccer, baseball, basketball, volleyball, tennis, and kickball. After practicing skills through some drills and warm-ups, they scrimmage other teams. Some new games are fan favorites, such as dodge ball, handball, cherry bomb, steal the bacon and dance. Dodge ball may seem like an ordinary sport, but it is definitely the camp favorite. The focus, intensity, and eager participation bring out each team’s highest spirit. It is our favorite too!

Once the campers step onto the field, that’s when they’re put to the test. This is the opportunity where the girls use their communication skills, teamwork, perseverance, sportsmanship, and much more in order to grow in character. This helps create stronger friendships and be a well-rounded individual. By participating in these sports, girls are exposed to a variety of activities and change their outlook on life. They realize the importance of having a positive attitude and doing their best. Having three different sports each day is a component that differentiates Summit from an average boring summer school.

Natalie (left): Sophomore at Ronald Reagan High School, She was a camper for 3 years and a junior counselor for two. She wants to be a veterinarian. 

Liliana (right): Sophomore at St. Thomas More High School, She was a camper for one year and is now in her second summer as a junior counselor. She plans to study business and politics.

Character Class by Citlalith Martinez and Karina Pulido

Character Class by Citlalith Martinez and Karina Pulido

Kindness, honesty, responsibility, respect and good manners are just some of the important virtues we talk about at Summit. Every day for 45 minutes counselors talk about a different value to help the girls grow as people.  These character classes make Summit unique by supporting young girls to become successful and virtuous citizens.

After we have a talk about the topic, we do an activity to go along with the lesson. For example, when we give a talk on modesty, we have a fashion show to show our girls how they can dress stylishly and appropriately.  Another example is when we talk about good manners.  We have a tea party teaching the girls how to behave at a table and talk politely by saying things like “thank you” and “you’re welcome.”  A final example is when we give the talk on kindness, we put a piece of paper on the girls back and they walk around writing compliments about one another.

These character classes are not only beneficial to the girls, but to the junior counselors as well. They have taught us to set a great example for the campers. They have taught the campers to always work hard, never give up on their goals, always be kind, and so much more.  Summit would not be the same without these classes and neither would we. 

Karina (left): Sophomore at St. Francis High School, She was a camper in Summit’s summer program for 4 years. This is her second year as a Junior Counselor. Karina plays the piano and hopes to be a pediatrician.

Citlalith (right): Sophomore at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, She spent 4 years as a camper and is now in her first summer as a Junior Counselor. She hopes to be an engineer.