Camp Exposure to Excellence

Camp Exposure to Excellence.

Camp Exposure 2 Excellence is a 6-week summer camp for 25 campers in the  4th, 5th, and 6th grades from rural communities. 

A typical day:  breakfast, positive morning message; 1.5 hours on basic reading, writing, and math skills; group games; lunch/quiet time (yoga); outside science project; supervised free play and gardening.

Field trips twice weekly include educational and just fun.  Water safety lessons weekly at the YMCA; healthy cooking/eating sessions from local child nutritionists; and a lot more.  

We need your help.  The budget for this endeavor is $25,000.  Help us help the next generation of leaders. 

The Why

Often rural Black and Brown children begin school with fewer resources, insufficient basic skills, and lower societal expectations than white children.  Simply put, society expects less of them which hampers their achievement.  This begins the vicious cycle of low expectations, low test scores, below-grade placement in less challenging classes, unrecognized potential, and less tolerance.  This lack of resources, skills, and expectation funnels the cradle-to-prison pipeline.  No degree, no trade, no entrepreneurial resources, no job, no career, no dreams, no life.

We understand that the family dynamics of very low-income households, insecure environments, and basic living hardships disrupt parents’ lives in ways that alter a child’s home life.  Family relations and the mental well-being of family members often are manifested in a child’s behavior and ability to learn.  Consequently, efforts to help families in poverty, which typically target their current circumstances, will make a difference only if the future prospects of their children are raised. In other words, long-term, child-centered approaches are necessary because short-term, adult-centered approaches (e.g., public assistance, tax relief) can only go so far.  In other words, we must address the children now rather than later and continue to address their educational needs if we are to truly make a difference generationally. 

Over the past 3 years, our children have been through a lot.  They have endured the uncertainty of the pandemic, being out of school and parents struggling to keep the family together. They need a break. 

They deserve to just be kids again. Camp Exposure to Excellence “Camp E2E” seeks to give them a break from “everyday life” to let them play, and experience new things, different ideas, and dreams.

How can a child dream of being a Marine Biologist, a Cancer Researcher, a Helicopter Pilot, or an Environmental Engineer if they are never exposed to those possibilities or see anyone that looks like them in those positions?  How can they dream of going to college if they have never been on a college campus and seen people that look like them? To each and every one of us that someone gave the key to the door of possibilities, the ability to dream, we now owe a debt to this generation to Expose Them to Excellence.

Perhaps Black Excellence is something akin to an old friend; you look to it when you need a boost, but it’s important to ensure you understand its many layers. Now, I feel more certain that to be ‘Excellent’ is to appreciate the efforts you’ve gone to, rather than the results yielded. Blackness, however, is timeless; when the glow of success fades, I never want to forget my birth-right – and that I unapologetically belong in the room.
Hanaa Yousof, 6 July, 2022

Exposure is a building block we use to build the capacity of children to believe in themselves; to believe that they are destined for greatness and they are worth the effort.  It begins to help a child who does not see possibilities to believe that all things are possible for them. Exposure is the foundation that allows curiosity to build, where imagination is ignited, and the impossible now becomes possible.

Excellence is another building block we work to instill in children.  The difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary is simply the “Extra”.  We know that when they put forth just a little extra, they see the results and are amazed at what they can do! Excellence is simply doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. It can become the way they live in all areas of their lives. We believe where Excellence is expected children grow beyond their own expectations. When we expose their minds to Excellence it begins to produce the fruit of self-assurance, self-worth, and an expectation of success.      

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Exposure to Excellence becomes visible in their home, school, and play life.  You begin to see it in how they react to situations, treat others, and what they expect of themselves.  Watch the attitude of Excellence take hold and allow that child to blossom into who they are meant to be.

We need your help.  The budget for this endeavor is $25,000.  Help us help the next generation of leaders. Need more information call Resea Willis at 910-233-6335.  As always thank you for your generosity of spirit and resources.