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Camp leader Kirsten Jewell provides the rhythm as literacy camp participants sing to their families during family night in Repulse Bay this past month. - photo courtesy of Rob Hiseler

Books, Fun and Sun

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Wednesday, August 8, 2007

REPULSE BAY - A summer literacy camp in Repulse Bay wrapped up with a rousing family night celebration this past month.

The Books, Fun and Sun camp was led by Rob Hiseler and Kirsten Jewell from Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., as well as local high school students Georgina Putulik and Jessica Siutinuar.

The project is delivered through Queen's Project on International Development (QPID), a studentrun initiative.

Close to 90 kids, aged five to 12, attended the seven-week camp.

An average of 10 to 20 children attended the camp's two daily sessions at Tusarvik school.

Jewell said the camp received strong support from the community, and the leaders are proud of the effort put in by the kids who attended.

"Each two-hour session was filled with crafts, games, literacy activities, reading and storytelling, singing, gym activities, snacks and visits from local elders," said Jewell.

"The kids had a lot of fun and, in addition to giving them something different to do during the long summer days, the camp kept them thinking and learning so they were more prepared to go back to school."

Parents and other family members of those who attended the camp came together in a crowded Tusarvik classroom to close the program.

Jewell said family night was a celebration of the good times and hard work put in by the students and leaders.

"The room was decorated with paper chains and balloons, and the kids' artwork was displayed on the walls.

"There was lots of food for everyone to enjoy, including peanut-butter cookies baked by some of the senior campers earlier in the day."

A choir of more than 30 kids sang several songs they learned during the camp.

Accompanied by Jewell on guitar, they performed Down by the Bay, Twinkle Twinkle/Ublu Ublu, and This Land is Your Land.

"Each camper received a certificate of recognition for their attendance and a book to take home.

"We hope the books encourage them to continue reading throughout the year.

"We finished with a slide show of pictures taken during the camp.

"The photos produced a few shrieks of laughter from the children, as we all remembered the fun we had this summer."