Niagara University welcomed some of its youngest students during three summer camps hosted by its Levesque Institute for Civic Engagement in July.
Four- and five-year-olds entering kindergarten in the fall enjoyed a variety of activities to build and strengthen their skills during Kindercamp, July 11-15. As part of the early childhood arm of the institute, teachers and coaches spent the week leading the 36 children in songs, literary activities, outdoor play, and STEM projects that focused on four themes: Let’s Get Buggy, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Ahoy Let’s Be Pirates, and Down on the Farm. Children were also introduced to traditional classroom procedures, such as listening attentively, following directions, and taking turns. Kindercamp is made possible through generous support from the United Way of Niagara County.
From July 11-29, a three-week Esports camp gave 12 middle school students from the Niagara Falls City School District an opportunity to learn the Python programming language and digital writing. Campers also toured Niagara’s Nest/Esports lounge, learned more about NU’s Esports Club from a panel of its members, took a field trip to M&T Tech Hub, and heard from guest speakers. During those same weeks, 24 Niagara Falls High School 11th and 12th grade students participating in NU’s Early College program were on campus to take two classes: American Sign Language and Foundations of Justice. Early College is a four-year program to engage students in grades 9-12 in college/career exploration. Students can obtain between 18 and 24 tuition-free college credits from Niagara University. Both programs are held in partnership with the Niagara Falls City School District.
The Levesque Institute was established in 2011 to assist in the revival of the city of Niagara Falls and the Western New York region through four pillars: revitalization, health and wellness, early childhood, and community outreach. It is the primary resource for anyone in the community who is looking to partner with Niagara University's students, faculty, and staff to facilitate community service opportunities and create conversations that develop collaborative projects for systemic change using a collective impact model.