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Region 4, August Blog!

Hello Friends,

When one thinks about summer, it’s very easy for the following words to come to mind: relaxation, vacations, and SUN! However, as the school year ends and summer break is on the horizon it appears that my schedule becomes a bit more hectic than usual, which I thoroughly enjoy. It gives me pure joy to see the smiley faces of Summer STEM Campers, which I affectionately refer to as my “babies”. To nurture and shape their minds with knowledge that will help them beyond their childhood gives me the feeling of reassurance each day as I step into the office. Though the days and daily phone calls are indeed long, I absolutely love my role as a STEM Program Liaison. The mission of the Alliance Network is to increase productivity among students during out-of-school time. And I wholeheartedly support this mission.

Toys “R” Us used to have the catchy phrase, “A place where a kid can be a KID”. And that was my guiding thought as I corresponded with Site Directors, Teachers, and hosted orientation and trainings this summer. I wanted to transform every summer camp into a magical place where students forgot about their worries, disengaged from the latest trend on Tik Tok, and have meaningful dialogue and interactions with their peers. As I went on site and interacted with campers, I could tell they were really enjoying themselves. Though they were extremely eager to tattle on their teacher making them repeat sight words and write to 100. I saw the same enthusiasm when they discussed the STEM activities facilitated by Alabama Virtual Institute (AVI) in coordination with College Admissions Made Possible (CAMP). They use the engineering design process to create their water slide parks, test the PH levels of various water sources, and simulate structures that can withstand the threat of natural disasters. And of course, what is a summer program without field trips! This year our campers explored nature through The Alabama 4-H Center, a blast from history at Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) and Africatown Heritage House Museum, and an in-depth look into the world of science at Cook Science Museum and U.S Space & Rocket Center. We are truly cultivating our future!

I appreciate our community and school partners for fostering and maintaining an environment that is wholesome and welcoming to all children. I reiterate the notion to staff that for most children in our afterschool and summer learning programs, this is where they will receive the most LOVE, DISCIPLINE, and STABILITY. It’s imperative that we are able to show up for our students each day!

Our programming is made possible by generous contributions from the Department of Human Resources of Alabama (AL-DHR) and Children Trust Fund (CTF) of Alabama.


Until Next Year, Stay Tuned

TIARRA STEVENSON,

STEM PROGRAM LIAISON

AELA Community Regional Hub Director, Region 4




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