KidWorks’ summer 2022 programs will return in person for the first time since 2019—and we’re gearing-up for six fun-filled weeks for students.  Programs are intentionally designed to provide students’ new experiences, have fun, and most importantly, the opportunity to be a kid. 

We’re mindful that many students experienced a wide range of trauma and hardship during the years-long pandemic. That’s why summer 2022 at KidWorks is designed around the theme “Growth Mindset.”

“Growth Mindset encourages students to first think, ‘I can do this,’ when trying new things” says Noemi Juarez, our Director of After School Programs.”  Students will have exposure to many firsts including, kayaking in the ocean, traveling to Star Rock Camps (XLR8) at Bass Lake, playing pickleball, and even performing in a play. 

All programs will incorporate personal development, leadership and academic growth, which are KidWorks program success strategies.  We are also excited to engage KidWorks youth and alumni as student leaders to work with our younger students.

Leadership Development

KidWorks is hosting a youth leadership week at the start of the summer, which provides students the opportunity to develop their leadership skills.   “They’ll be equipped to volunteer as student leaders at KidWorks and serve the community as a whole,” says Cynthia Gomez, our Youth Lead.

Elevate is a program that focuses on urban youth. This summer, Elevate will consist of two weeks of experiences that include field trips, time with nature, college visits, career discussions, multicultural exposure and more.

“This summer, we will explore the Bible verse Philippians 4:13, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,’” Cynthia says which aligns with our theme of growth mindset.

Personal Development

At the start of the summer, KidWorks is offering two weeks of enrichment camps in music, art, sports and theater thanks to our partners.  These camps will allow students to explore their God-given talents, and also provide students positive outlets for their mental well-being. 

Kid’s Club is offered for our elementary grade students, with an emphasis on character and leadership skills through play, social engagement, service and creative projects.  

Vacation Bible study has been a significant part of Kids Club since its’ inception. Thanks to our friends at Calvary Church Santa Ana, KidWorks students will get to experience VBS with kids from other communities in Santa Ana. 

Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp Experience is a highlight for KidWorks youth.  Students travel to Bass Lake where they enjoy life outside their neighborhood.  Highlights include worship nights, seminars, devotional time and lots of fun outdoor activities (archery, kayaking, banana boating, rock climbing, zip lining and more—most with a leadership component about facing one’s their fears). 

College Success

Youth in grades 6 through 12th will also the opportunity to participate in workshops, in  career and college preparedness, nutrition, arts and fitness.

“We’d like to empower our youth by providing them with a variety of experiences,” says Daisy Rojas, our Enrichment Coordinator. “Our youth provided input for the enrichment portion and we designed the workshops based on their feedback.”

Alumni Internship is a seven-week program to further develop future leaders by modeling servant leadership in our communities. Another benefit is work experience gained through these paid internships. Many of the interns will be current college/university students who graduated from KidWorks programs.

Volunteering during summer 2022

KidWorks could not offer our summer programs without the help of volunteers.  We need both individuals and groups to teach workshops, lead a Bible study, share career experiences, lead spirit days and more.

“We also invite volunteers who can help this summer with on-site set-up and decorating,” says Rachel Cervantes, our Volunteer Coordinator. 

“There are opportunities to lend a hand during events, in our classrooms, with clean-up, field trips and chaperoning,” Rachel says. “Volunteers will also enjoy encouraging and assisting students with art and other creative and learning projects.”

Rachel adds that financial and in-kind donations are always needed and appreciated.

We’re filled with excitement as we anticipate welcoming 400-plus students to summer at KidWorks. We invite you to be part of this extraordinary event, too!

By Glenn Leibowitz, volunteer writer