Children learn best through their everyday experiences with the people they love and trust, and when the learning is fun. And the best place for these experiences is outdoors, in the natural world.
-- The Center for Family, School, and Community
PhotoKids is a summer program combining hands-on science with photography for middle-school students living in local public housing communities. Enjoy the online gallery of images created by students on this webpage (click Flickr box on right) or visit the Executive Office Building Lobby (101 Monroe Street, Rockville) between October 19 and Friday, December 14.
PhotoKids has three simple goals—to provide youngsters with a safe haven and caring mentor during unsupervised hours when students might engage in risky behaviors; to introduce children to digital photography and computer manipulation—skills they can use at school now and later in life; and, to expose children to the natural world through hands-on science.
And, children gain much more from their PhotoKids experience. They grow in self-esteem and self-confidence, develop greater communication and collaboration skills, learn tolerance for others, sharpen the ability to focus, analyze and perceive and enrich their understanding of the natural world. Developing these behaviors can keep children out of trouble and help them grow and succeed in life.
For summer 2012, environmental artist and photographer, Joanne Miller led ten students on field trips to learn about ecosystems and the plants and animals that inhabit them. They ranged far and wide, from the National Zoo to Butler’s Orchard, to Brookside Garden, Great Falls and the woods in their own backyard. With each new adventure, the students came to understand not only the world around them, but their own place in the world.
“Many of our youth were introduced to understanding the meaning of art expression and found that they could create masterpieces," says Angela Bowen, President & CEO of Community Services Foundation. "We want to help them to identify their talents and determine what career they want to pursue. PhotoKids is a great program that gave them the opportunity learn a new skill and share their gift. Thank you AHCMC and the Montgomery County Employee Giving Campaign for supporting PhotoKids.”
“Photography offers kids a creative opportunity to experience the wonder of nature through the eye of a camera,” Joanne Miller notes. “As they master new skills and discover the simple beauty of the outdoor world, a change takes place in their art and personal expression.”
“By the time the children returned to school in August,” observed AHCMC Program Manager, Shelley Johnson, “they had developed greater self-confidence, new friends and a unique way of looking at their environment.”
Managed by the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, the Community Services Foundation was this year’s program partner. PhotoKids 2012 was made possible by generous donations from individuals in the Montgomery County Giving Campaign and Montgomery County government.
A contribution of $500 pays tuition for one child in the five week summer program. Select "programs for at-risk children" on the secure donation form.