As part of our Baltimore’s Child Virtual Summer Camps and Activities Fair, we’re introducing you to some of our camp fair participants. Verbal Beginnings is hosting its summer programs at Social Beginnings, a unique opportunity for children to enjoy a therapeutic experience, while learning valuable social skills at the same time. Learn more from Leigh LeGare, director of business development at Verbal Beginnings, in our Q&A below.
BC: Can you describe some of the highlights of your summer programming?
Leigh LeGare: We offer a curriculum-based learning experience that immerses children into a social group of like-aged peers to learn how to develop and utilize valuable social skills. Our social activities incorporate play skills, games, science experiments and art activities.
BC: What aspects of the summer program experience do parents comment about the most?
LL: Parents typically comment on their child’s social skill growth over the course of the summer and their child’s excitement each morning before walking in the door to the summer program. We often receive feedback from parents regarding the excitement their children expresses about the new friends they are making within the summer program.
BC: What aspects do kids the most about your summer programs?
LL: I specifically like that we can offer research-based therapeutic services to a variety of children that differ in age and skill level. I like that our program consists of highly trained staff who are facilitating the groups and providing support to the children who attend our summer program. I also enjoy providing training to our families so that we can support their child, even when they are not at the summer program.
BC: How did your organization respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of summer programs last year?
LL: Last year, we had specific safety precautions in place such as small group sizes. Each group had its own classroom. We had frequent hand washing, frequent sanitizing and disinfecting, temperature checks before entering the building and designated drop-off and pickup times. Staff wore masks throughout the day.
BC: What steps are you taking this year to keep campers safe and healthy?
LL: This year, we will continue to have the same safety precautions in place, such as small group sizes. Each group will have its own classroom. We’ll have frequent hand washing, frequent sanitizing and disinfecting, temperature checks before entering the building for children and staff, and designated drop-off and pickup times. Staff will wear masks throughout the day.
BC: What would you say are the benefits of summer camp or summer programs for children?
LL: Summer programs offer children an opportunity to immerse themselves within an enriched environment where they can learn how to navigate social interactions and develop meaningful relationships with their peers. Specifically in summer programs, children are supported by staff and fellow peers to practice important social skills all while having fun in a camp setting.