Camp Bright Star
IEA – Inspire, Encourage, Achieve, a Southeast Texas nonprofit organization established in 1997 to help underprivileged youth (involved in the juvenile justice system), is once again hosting Camp Bright Star, a six-week summer learning program that focuses on literacy, improving language arts skills, generating excitement about learning, and motivating participants to read, as well as developing character qualities.
Last year, IEA staff and volunteers worked with more than 300 youth in the Minnie Rogers Juvenile Justice Center (MRJJC) as well as with those under supervision of the Jefferson County Juvenile Probation Department, providing counseling and other therapeutic services, including anger management, art and yoga. Staff also provided parenting classes for nearly 75 families who benefited from a supportive network of resources, enabling them to strengthen their parenting skills and develop stronger support systems.
IEA succeeded in reducing recidivism rates again in 2014, with 96% of the “Ben’s Kids” enrolled in IEA’s outreach program not returning to the MRJJC for a new offense while participating in Ben’s Kids activities.
During the past fourteen years, IEA has been able to impact the lives of more than 575 Camp Bright Star participants.
In an effort to counter summer learning loss*, IEA developed Camp Bright Star, which utilizes the following methods and activities:
Implement reading models proven to increase the impact of reading achievement
Administer math, science and technology sessions aligned with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards
Provide community-based enrichment activities and field trips, including a business casual shopping experience
A caring, dedicated team offers life-enriching experiences during the camp, grounded in the organization’s philosophy of helping young people achieve dignity and respect through knowledge, compassion, understanding and love. Outcomes of Camp Bright Star include:
Renewed motivation to read and learn
Enhanced focus on literacy – preventing the “summer learning slide”
Strengthened character qualities
Connected children’s needs to professional community resources
It is our goal for Camp Bright Star to be available to all youth who wish to attend, at no cost to their families. It is only with generous community support that we are able to continue to provide this meaningful service to children from underprivileged backgrounds in Southeast Texas.