On any given summer weekday, campers at the McGivney Community Center can be found creating rockets in science class, tie-dyeing T-shirts, brushing up on reading skills, and performing in a “McGivney’s Got Talent” showcase.
Located on the East Side of Bridgeport, a neighborhood once riddled with violent crime, McGivney Center was founded in 1992 as a respite for the neighborhood’s children.
“Camp provides a safe space for our kids to learn and grow during the summer time,” said Sarah Motti, Director of Development. “It’s a safe, quality, and affordable camp where we can provide the kids with opportunities that they might not have been provided with otherwise.”
Notably, Motti said, the vast majority of the camp’s counselors are from the East Side of Bridgeport themselves, and many of them attended McGivney’s summer camps as children.
This summer, McGivney offers seven one-week summer camp sessions from June 27-August 12. Each week, the McGivney Center hosts up to 100 campers entering grades K-8. Teens who have finished eighth grade but are not 16 years old may apply for McGivney’s Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program.
The camps run on a schedule similar to a school day, with eight class periods a day from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. McGivney also offers an extended-day option, for children of working parents, which meets from 3 to 5 p.m., Motti said.
Breakfast and lunch are provided each day. Activities during the camp include athletics and recreation, arts and crafts, science, performing arts, and math and literacy classes to prevent summer learning loss.
Field trips are a hallmark of the camps. Last year, campers visited the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., and this summer will see campers at the Beardsley Zoo, Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park in Trumbull, the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, and the Ballpark at Harbor Yard for Bridgeport Bluefish games.
(For more information, visit www.mcgivney.org.)