“She was able to thrive with other students and improve her presentation skill.”
“His experience helped enhance his academic knowledge and also his social relationships.”
“He was full of questions and anxious to learn about all the lessons and recreation activities.”
“She learned the importance of art as a creative way to express an individual’s perspective.”
At first glance most would assume comments like these would be found on a school report card, but in actuality the accolades about campers were shared by teachers and counselors at one of New Orleans’ longest running and most impactful summer camps: Trinity Educational Enrichment Program. Since 1966, TEEP has been offering a tuition free six-week summer learning experience for underserved youth. What began by Trinity Church and School to help fill a void of summer programs for African-American children in the nearby Irish Channel and Central City neighborhoods has grown into a highly sought after camp that provides educational and enrichment opportunities to 85 children annually from Orleans Parish Schools. Rising fifth and sixth graders are recommended by their school principals as potential campers and then, with their parents, participate in an interview process. Once accepted, students and their parents are asked to sign a contract outlining expectations of full commitment and engagement.
A typical TEEP day doesn’t start in the classroom, because learning doesn’t just occur there. As the children unload from busses Director Alvin Edinburgh (In his 42nd year!) greets each one with a firm handshake. The campers are expected to adhere to the cornerstone of the program he helped develop – the five Rs: Respect, Responsibility, Reciprocity, Restraint and Redemption. A healthy breakfast is then served before they tackle academic classes taught by certified teachers in reading, science and mathematics, where students receive individual attention in an intentionally small classroom setting. After lunch, campers spend the afternoon with student and adult volunteers enjoying creative activities in dance, art and music. Twice a week, swimming at a NORD pool and field trips to local attractions, such as the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, IMAX Theater, and Global Wildlife Center, offer special outings to campers – many for the first time. A much anticipated Saturday trip takes small groups to Land O’ Pines in Covington for a day of exploration outdoors including hiking, tubing, playing in creek beds and barbecuing. The TEEP session concludes each summer with a family picnic at the Solomon Retreat Center in Robert, Louisiana, and a “TEEP Sunday” celebration at Trinity Church for campers, their families, teachers and counselors.
Now a model for programs around the country, TEEP is proud to have a second generation of campers participating in the program, as well as many alumna serving as counselors, including current Assistant Director and educator Romaine McCarthy. Funded completely through the generosity of Trinity Church parishioners and local foundations, the camp strives annually to reach financial goals in order to maintain the high program standards while also working toward goals of expansion to reach all ages. In 2017, TEEP was thrilled to be able to offer a Pre-K program again for the first time since Hurricane Katrina.
TEEP is helping children realize their potential academically, socially and spiritually through providing a nurturing structure, positive role models and a fun summer camp environment for learning academics and invaluable life skills.
A little more …
Tax deductible donations may be made online at TrinityNola.com/teep-donate or mailed to Trinity Church: attn. TEEP, 1329 Jackson Ave., New Orleans, LA 70130.