by Kristen Letchworth, Director of Summer Programs
Building community doesn’t just happen during the school year. Throughout sun-filled June and July 2019, Summer at Brentwood welcomed more than 800 students from Brentwood and beyond to 80 different camps. In addition to Kindergarten and Lower School Camp and sports for Grades 1-8, there were Middle School visual and performing arts courses and the popular service-learning camps, as well as Upper School credit classes and specialty camps, such as photojournalism and new BCIL courses (stay tuned for articles about these in future Newsletters!). This year, we were happy to present the inaugural Eagles Launchpad, a two-week camp designed specifically to prepare campers for Middle School.
This unique educational experience invited new and returning Brentwood students to build relationships with classmates and their future teachers—all of whom are exceptional Brentwood Middle School faculty. As Ronit Kumar, Middle School science teacher, said, “It was cool that when they came in August I could say, ‘Hi!’ and their names, since we already knew each other.” For two weeks, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders took math and English/study skills, along with two electives: music classes, design thinking, robotics, photography, visual arts, and recess revamped! Each class met for 75 minutes—a “practice run” and reflection of the new 7th and 8th Grade schedule. After increasing demand from families and commitment from additional teachers, we were able to accommodate two more 6th and 7th Grade classes. According to a 6th Grade parent, “Summer at Brentwood helped my child feel more confident entering Middle School.”
And when students are excited to go back to school in August—not just to see their friends, but to reconnect with their teachers and continue exploring interests and passions they developed in summer—we’re on the right track to building a community of lifelong learners.