The local camp where kids learn everything from money management to conflict resolution

Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 9:07 PM CDT
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VICKSBURG, Miss. (WLBT) - Welcome to SmartBall Camp, where teachers are stressing the importance of reading, writing and arithmetic, so that young minds can excel next school year.

“Most importantly, giving them tools to be able to be better students for the new year,” stated Dexter Jones, program director. “When they leave this program, because we’re doing pre-assessment and post-assessment, we are enabling the kids to be able to be developed for the next school year and for the next grade level.”

Chief Penny Jones says that’s just a small portion of what the five-week summer youth program offers. She also points out that young people seven to 18 can join the SmartBall Camp.

“We will be teaching computer skills, decision-making, driving, music, cooking, creative dancing, and a disaster prep for some of the things that have been happening in the schools,” said Jones. “Also, money management, and they will also have an opportunity to play baseball, football and ride ATVs.”

Chief Jones says the children also get a chance to bond with those who protect and serve their communities every day.

“It gives them the chance to learn about us, to meet with us,” she said. “This program gives officers an opportunity to be one-on-one with kids in the community.”

A major goal is to get the kids off the streets and out of the house, so that they can be more productive and stay out of trouble.

“Idle minds is the devil’s workshop,” Jones said. “When you give kids a lot of time where they are just sitting around doing anything, all kinds of thoughts run through their minds. But when you provide them something to do, and it was in the best of place where they can be strengthened, and they could be developed into young productive citizens.”

Some of the courses offered are: cosmetology, literacy, anti-bullying, robotics, decision making, conflict resolution, and drug abuse prevention.  

Classes are held Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the Vicksburg Junior High School campus. Call Dexter Jones at 601-218-1318.

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