COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - If you heard some little singing voices carrying across the county Wednesday, you weren't imaging things. Richland One's Camp Discovery wrapped with a series of flash mobs all over the county.
Elementary school students from several schools hopped a charter bus to five different locations including a Long's Drug Store, Carver-Lyon Elementary, the county's southeast library, and Pinewood Lake Park. Their performance reflected two weeks of intense study of music and poetry.
"Children have a voice and we want our voices to be heard. And also to encourage adults as well to believe in us and to trust us. And to support us in the things that we do," Jhurni Williams, one of the camp's leaders in training, said.
A big part of that was spreading the importance of literacy.
"Reading is every day in and out of school," camp organizer Mary Jade Haney said. "We've learned to read in and out of school. You know phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, all of that comes together to help us to read for meaning. And that's what makes life work -- meaning. We don't just read. We read deep."
Campers also continued a tradition of memorializing the nine parishioners that died in a shooting at Charleston's Mother Emanuel AME Church.
"We were in camp during that time, and as educators, we didn't know where to go but we knew we had to go do camp. So we gathered all the children together and we had a conversation about life, about love, and about hope, and about meaning, and about belonging, and about taking care of each other. So from that, we just started every year at Camp Discovery doing an in memory piece to our Emanuel 9 to keep it before us to know that even though we've come a long way, there's a long way that we still have to go," Haney said
This is Camp Discovery's sixth year. It focuses on teaching elementary students about social justice and STEM education, which is science, technology, engineering, art, and math.