In the summer of 2007 HCEF was able for the first time to offer agencies with educational programs a series of week-long "camp" experiences for their resident children. One of the camp opportunities was storytelling with master storyteller Jackie Jonas. Another was the Pittsburgh Dance Ensemble's African Cultural Expression workshop. This camp introduced children to African culture, arts, and history through drumming, movement, and language.
Since the summer of 2008 HCEF has made available to its "partners in learning" multiple opportunities for their resident children to explore the world of science through Pittsburgh-based LabRatz Science Club. The children revel in creating chemical reactions, getting acquainted with a turtle named Maxwell, using a microscope to see microbes as well as human cells and body tissue, finding fossils in shale, piecing together skeletal remains, understanding potential and kinetic energy, exploring electricity and magnetism. LabRatz offers both a week-long summer "camp" and an after-school option.
Current pportunities include:
- Art and Languages (French/Spanish) study combined with dance, drumming, visual arts, crafts, global culture, music offered by the Institute of International Arts and Languages. See a related photo story combining French language instruction with the making of crêpes and the YOUTUBE video What's Cooking After School
- Hands on Science with the LabRatz Science Club. See the video Testing the Waters with Labratz
- Silk-screening and POP ART workshops with the Andy Warhol Museum. See a related photo story.
- Radio broadcasting with Saturday Light Brigade Radio
- Puppetry, storytelling, and digital animation with The Schmutz Company
- Art therapy-based programming with Art Expressions
- Reading and "meet the author" with children's book author Sydelle Pearl
Between 2009 and May 2011, HCEF provided 675 CAPE workshops totaling over 1000 hours of instruction. Over $50,000 has been budgeted for CAPE workshops in 2012.
These accelerated "camp" and after-school programs are funded principally by corporate contributions received through Pennsylvania's Education Improvements Tax Credit (EITC) program. 2012 participants are BNY Mellon, Direct Energy, Dollar Bank, Duquesne Light, Eat'n Park, Equitable Gas Company, First National Bank, Gateway Health Plan, Hefren-Tillotson, Keystone Health Plan West, Mars National Bank, PNC Financial Services Group, UPMC Health Plan. Such corporate donations over these years total $145.000.
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