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White River students learn hands-on computer skills during summer technology camp

Eighteen enthusiastic campers spent one week of their summer vacation at White River School District’s first technology camp. With the Northwest theme, Log on @ Camp, students learned hands-on computer skills and then closed it out by sharing a video with friends and family.

The tech trek program was launched in June at Foothills Elementary School with five tech-savvy teachers – Cheryl Newman, Eva Dietz, Virginia Borg, Jill Jirava and Christy Kehr – along with technology assistant Eric Meadows and a group of eager-to-learn fourth- and fifth-grade students.

"I'm not sure who had more fun, the adults or the kids," said Pam Jeter, district technology supervisor and camp director.

"We received a lot of very positive reviews from parents and students."

Jeter said she always wanted to do a camp to fill the void, but resources were scarce. Originally, her plan was to borrow a program from another district, or at least get some thoughts on how to establish one, but, she said, there are few out there. Instead, she found a group of talented, interested White River teachers and decided to start a small program and build on it.

"I thought it would be something fun we could do," she said. The camp was run through the district's Community Activities Program so, like other summer offerings, students paid a reasonable fee.

The kids used their creativity to put together stop-motion videos, which they shared on the big screen with parents, family and friends at an evening “campout” the last day of the event. Campers designed backgrounds, created storyboards and developed characters and then used digital cameras and Frames software to add sound, captions and special effects.

Students, or pairs of students, like Hannah McGinnis and Madeline Carboy put together videos. McGinnis and Carboy's is titled "The Banana Thief."

The camp video and student created videos are available for viewing through the White River home page and then clicking on the Technology Department link or at www.courierherald.com.

Jeter said she looks forward to expanding the program next summer to include middle school students. She's already collecting volunteers' names who would like to assist in the planning. For information, contact Jeter at Pajeter@whiteriver.wednet.edu.

To comment on this story, view it online at www.courierherald.com. Reach Brenda Sexton at bsexton@courierherald.com or 360-802-8206.

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