Corpus Christi Summer Programs Keep Kids Literate, Active
The atmosphere was electric on a recent weeknight at the Chicas Rock building in Corpus Christi. A musical group of 9- and 10-year-old girls played their guitars, drums, and basses, singing their version of The Ramones’ hit “Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!” A female musical coach stopped them on occasion to give guidance. The girls soaked in the advice and jumped back into the music with excitement and commitment.
Founded in 2011 by Executive Director Cecy Treviño, Chicas Rock is a year-round program that features workshops on self-esteem and girl empowerment along with music lessons.
Chicas Rock is just one of several Corpus Christi summer camps aimed at keeping kids engaged and actively learning during the summer months while also providing a really good time.
According to Corpus Christi Public Library Director Laura Garcia, kids can lose important reading skills during the summer when they are not in school.
“It’s called the ‘summer slide,’” she said. “It’s vital to keep up these skills so when kids go back to school, they are not behind.”
The Chicas Rock programs are exclusively for girls. The music is taught by female coaches.
“It’s important to provide a safe place for girls to go where they have a voice,” said Treviño, who emphasizes the importance of music and art in the girls’ lives.
The program provides the instruments and teaches the girls how to play popular songs they enjoy.
“I love to practice songs and perform at The House of Rock,” said Auria Espinoza, 10, referring to the venue where showcases are held after the girls have learned to play their songs.
Other girls said they love making new friends, learning to write their own songs, and designing posters and T-shirts for their bands, which they help name.
“We have speakers talk to them about graphic design,” Treviño said. “A screen printer comes in to show them how to make their shirts, and someone from the American Bank Center comes in and teaches them about what goes on behind the scenes on a stage.”
Chicas Rock is part of the nonprofit group Corpus Christi PATCH, which is working to restore The Ritz Theatre downtown. Chicas Rock is entirely funded by donations, fundraisers, and tuition.
“Our goal is to someday offer scholarships,” Treviño said.
During the summer, Chicas Rock offers four different weeklong summer camps for girls ages 8-17, which are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. The cost is $300 per week, including lunch. A half-day program for younger girls, ages 5-7, costs $120 per week.
Chicas Rock is located at 4722 Holly Road in Corpus Christi. Call (361) 947-7625 (ROCK) or visit chicasrock.tumblr.com for more information.
LIBRARIES ROCK! ACTIVITIES
Corpus Christi Public Libraries have a remedy for the summer slide called “Libraries Rock!” The Texas Summer Reading Program runs June 4-Aug. 18 at library branches across the city. Kids earn tokens for reading and completing activities. Programs feature music, art, and dancing.
Tokens go in a gumball machine that dispenses stickers, which are collected in a book and redeemed for prizes at the end of the summer. After they earn enough points, kids can pick out a gift card for a restaurant or other activity or a small toy.
Available at all Corpus Christi Public Libraries branches.
For more information and to sign up, go to cclibraries.com or call (361) 826-7055.
K Space Contemporary Summer Mural Arts Camp offers a summer immersed in art for kids ages 13-17. Participants will create a mural at either the La Palmera Mall or a location downtown during the five, one-week sessions offered throughout the summer.
Tuition for all camps is $160 per week ($140 for K Space Contemporary members).
“The Coastal Bend Community Foundation is partnering with us to offer some scholarships,” said Cheryl Votzmeyer, education coordinator at K Space Contemporary.
Morning and afternoon snacks and all materials are provided, but campers must bring a sack lunch.
“On Tuesday and Thursday, there is a 30-minute yoga session before lunch,” Votzmeyer said. “On Wednesday, we will do an art-related walking tour of the murals downtown, such as the one on the side of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.”
K Space Contemporary is located in downtown Corpus Christi at 415D Starr St. Call (361) 887-6834 or visit kspacecontemporary.org
for more information.
SUMMER SEA CAMP
Kids who sign on to be part of the Texas State Aquarium’s Summer SeaCamp go behind the scenes at one of the top 10 aquariums in the United States.
“They will learn about animals, habitats, and wildlife rehabilitation,” said Education Programs coordinator Rosanna Gossett.
Young people entering eighth through 12th grades in the fall of 2018 can attend two-week camps. The camps are divided into age groups.
“Some will go to Padre Island, and some will go to the Welder Wildlife Refuge,” Gossett said.
The Welder Wildlife Refuge trip includes an overnight stay.
In another class for eighth- and ninth-graders, “Water Under the Bridge,” students get to design and build a model bridge for Corpus Christi using science, technology, engineering, and math.
The aquarium offers other summer programs for kids in pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade. Prices vary. Before- and after-care programs are available for an additional cost.
The Texas State Aquarium is located at 2710 N. Shoreline Blvd. in Corpus Christi. Call (361) 881-1204 for more information. For a complete list of camps and costs, go to texasstateaquarium.org/educate/camps/summer-seacamp.
JURASSIC PARK BY THE SEA
A summer of robotics, space, and Jurassic journeys awaits kids ages 4 through the sixth grade at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History. They can become crime scene investigators, engineers, or explorers during any of the weeklong summer camps offered June 4-Aug. 17. Before- and after-care is available for an additional cost. Campers can also apply for scholarships.
The museum is scheduled to open to the public in early May 2018 after being closed for repairs due to damage by Hurricane Harvey.
The Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History is located in the S.E.A. District at 1900 N. Chaparral St. Call (361) 826-4667 or visit ccmuseum.com.
MINE ‘CRAFT’ MEETS POKEMON
Kids who want to explore their artistic and acting skills can have a blast doing just that at a variety of summer camps being offered June 4-Aug. 10 at the Art Museum of South Texas.
“Our camp theme has taken on a popular culture twist,” said Curator of Education Linda Rodriguez. “We offer camps such as the Mine ‘Craft’ Camp and the ‘Gotta Catch ‘em All’ drawing, mixed media, and creative drama camps to ‘draw’ them in. It’s a creative way to teach art concepts, such as symmetry and asymmetry, sculptures and painting.”
Museum staff are excited about the fairly recent upgrades at the museum, including a black box theater in the museum’s creation station, an interactive and creative space for guests and their children.
The museum has awarded 120 need-based scholarships to the summer program so far, and only a few remain, Rodriguez said.
Before- and after-care is available for an additional cost.
To find the Art Museum of South Texas, set your GPS to 1902 N. Shoreline Blvd. Call (361) 825-3500 for more information or visit
Find more articles like this in Parks