Summer Exploratory Camp offer students a chance at learning new skills


For some high school students, summer break means sleeping late… but the Rockford School District offers a unique opportunity for kids who want to improve their skills and have some fun at the same time.

Rockford’s high school students who are interested in refining their skills spent the day in an art studio, honing their craft, while others raced drones through a school library, as part of an Summer Exploratory Camp.

SAT preparation classes were also offered, including test taking strategies focused on things like: “Comfort level, skills, along with the test,” said East High teacher Sara Okey. “Getting rid of any kind of anxiety. Making sure they perform their best.”

Jefferson student Diane Vega is taking part in the studio art class.

“I want to build up my technical skills when it comes to art, and create pieces for my portfolio,” she said.

Building portfolios is something art teachers recommend for students who want to pursue art after high school.

“A lot of these students are current art students and they know that they need to be building a portfolio for scholarships, for merit scholarships, for college,” Jefferson teacher, Lynn Stockton, said. “So, this is an opportunity to come in and really use their class time to focus on getting some pieces done that gets them really ready for the Fall.”

While the camp is held at Jefferson, it includes students from all four Rockford public schools. Organizers say it gives students an opportunity to work with instructors from other schools and a chance to compare notes on what kids are doing in their classrooms.

“It’s nice,” said Cynthia Orenday, a student at Auburn. “I get to see other people’s work and see, like, where they come from and what their environment is like at their school.”

Another two-week session will be held July 9th – 20th. The Summer Exploratory Camp is free and open to all Rockford Public Schools students. Breakfast and lunch and transportaion are provided. 

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