From noodle hockey to lawn bowling, students from across the district and community are suiting up with KidzU this summer to explore the exciting – and sometimes wacky – world of sports.
The camp opened in June with campers learning all about hockey. Each week they will learn about a new sport, ranging from bowling and tennis to football, track and field and water sports.
Madison Hall, a fourth-grader from Heritage Elementary School, said she liked hockey because she played goalie and got to stop the opposing team from scoring. During the game, she played alongside Mikey Strobel, who just completed sixth grade at Colleyville Middle School and was excited about how KidzU put a new twist on a traditional game.
“It’s just a blast,” Mikey said. “I mean, how fun is it to use noodles instead of hockey sticks?”
KidzU is part of GCISD’s state-licensed Extended Care Services offering before and after-school care during the school year. In the summer, KidzU offers a summer day camp for students who have completed kindergarten through grade 6.
In addition to learning about sports, KidzU campers have been going on fun and exciting field trips, hearing from guest speakers, and engaging in community service activities. The summer camp will end in August – just before school begins – with the annual KidzU Field Day and Carnival.
Ashley Ryks, assistant coordinator for KidzU, said the idea of a sports theme was natural because most of the activities they were planning revolved around sports.
“The goal for this summer was to have a theme that was educational, but also active for the children,” Ryks said. “I wanted to take it one step further and really teach the kids about not just the rules of the sport but also the history behind each sport we discuss.”
In addition to playing games and learning about sports this summer, Mikey also said he likes getting to meet students from other schools and make new friends.
Teaching students to make positive connections with others is a key component of the KidzU program, and one of the main reasons KidzU site aide Nick Liles loves his job.
“School teachers have to be focused on teaching them history , math, English, etc., and we get to help teach them everything else,” Liles said. “With us, they learn how to be kind, how to share, how to be around other people. I love working with these kids and helping them grow.”
After hockey, campers in June also learned about soccer and bowling. In July, weekly themes include volleyball, football, golf and tennis, and basketball. August sports themes are baseball and softball, water sports and track and field. The camp will culminate in “The Olympic Games” sports wrap up.
Registration for the KidzU Summer Camp is ongoing through August. Camp is offered on a daily or weekly basis. Please check the website for camp rates, schedule and important information.