W.Va. Schools to Mark State's 150th Anniversary with Summer Camp for Social Studies and the Arts

Posted: June 18, 2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education in collaboration with other state agencies is commemorating the state's 150th anniversary with a student summer camp that celebrates social studies and the arts.

This West Virginia Ambassadors Camp is a week-long event to be conducted at the University of Charleston June 17 through June 21. Campers will stay on the UC campus during the week while they learn about West Virginia history as well as participate in classes taught by West Virginia artisans.

"As both an educator and parent, I believe that we cannot afford to overlook the significant and dramatic effect social studies and the arts have on student achievement," said state Superintendent Jim Phares. "Research shows that the study of the arts can have a positive effect on student performance, while the study of social studies leads to a well-informed and civic-minded citizenry. This camp will allow our students to experience both."

County superintendents were invited to send two ambassadors to participate in the program. The students are to be eighth graders during the 2012-2013 school year. Students selected to participate are expected to return to their home counties and serve as ambassadors. Activities throughout the year following the camp are to include presentations at school-wide assemblies, scheduled classroom events at local elementary schools and the creation of an exhibit at county commission buildings.

During the camp, students will spend a day at the West Virginia Capitol Complex, where they will participate in a mock Legislature, tour the state museum, capitol, state archives and state library. In addition, the arts experience will include hands-on art projects as well as a workshop with the West Virginia Dance Company and dress rehearsal with the Charleston Light Opera Guild.

The ambassador program is sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Education, the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, the Sesquicentennial Commission, the City of Charleston, the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences, the West Virginia Power baseball team, the University of Charleston, and various other state agencies and non-profit organizations.

For more information, contact Joey Wiseman in the Office of Instruction at 304-558-5325, or the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.

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Tuesday, June 18, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., dance and art sessions, Culture Center; mock Legislature, state Supreme Court; 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., art and dance sessions, archives and backstage tours, Culture Center; 6:30 p.m., play dress rehearsal, Culture Center.

Wednesday, June 19, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., geocaching and nature hike, Kanawha State Forest; 12:45 p.m. to 2 p.m., Clay Center museum tour; 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., West Virginia Symphony Orchestra performance, Clay Center; 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., outdoor movie, Capitol lawn.

Thursday, June 20, 8:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Division of Culture and History sessions, interactive maps in education center, West Virginia archives, state museum tour, West Virginia Jeopardy, Culture Center; 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., West Virginia Symphony and Appalachian Children's Chorus, 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. 3-D show and fireworks, Capitol lawn.

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