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AileyCamp

AileyCamp

ACA Accredited Camp | Day Camp | Specialty Camp

“I will not use the word can’t to define my possibilities.”
— AileyCamp Daily Affirmation

AileyCamp is an innovative summer program designed to serve inner-city children in grades six through eight, ages 11-14. It does not serve as a training ground for professional dancers, but rather uses dance as a vehicle for developing self-esteem, self-discipline, creative expression and critical thinking skills.

Founded by Alvin Ailey and the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey in 1989, AileyCamp targets students with academic, social and domestic challenges, but also welcomes students who have little opportunity to develop their artistic interests. An important aspect of the program’s success is in providing positive adult and peer role models, and giving campers an invaluable opportunity to explore their creativity, learn to master their bodies, and strengthen their respect for themselves and others within a supportive framework that gives them an important foundation for the future.

The AileyCamp curriculum includes:

  • Daily technique classes in ballet, Horton-based modern dance, jazz dance and tap dance
  • Personal development classes: goal setting, nutrition, conflict/resolution, career development and self-image
  • Creative communications classes: with performance techniques, deepen the students’ awareness for self-expression

AileyCamp The Group is a special follow-up program for campers to reinforce and expand upon the meaningful experience of the summer program.

“The most important moment in a child’s education is the ‘crystallizing experience’ — the experience that helps a young person focus, engage and deeply connect to something he or she cares about.”
— Howard Gardner, noted educator

Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey’s AileyCamps are early intervention programs in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missourifor urban core, middle school youth, ages 11-14. The unique summer program provides a platform for prevention and youth development before negative patterns become a consistent behavior. Dance is the primary inspiration for camp activities that build life skills that are necessary to achieve. To ensure we reach the children who most need camp, each Camper receives a full tuition scholarship, as well as uniforms, meals and transportation free of charge. The great success of AileyCamp, lead KCFAA to develop a second phase to the program, called AileyCamp/The Group, This program, an extension of the AileyCamp curriculum, offers an after camp experience for young people ages 12-18 and encourages camp graduates to continue learning in a year-round program of dance classes, performance opportunities and field trips around the region.

Beginning in the summer of 1999, qualitative pre and post evaluations are administered by Kansas University-Dole Human Development Center graduate and post graduate students under the direction of Michael C. Roberts, Ph.D., Kansas University Professor, Applied Behavioral Science. The evaluation process was developed with theDoleCenterfor Human Development at the University of Kansasexclusively for AileyCamp.

The “Dole Measurement” is designed to measure the effectiveness of the AileyCamp curriculum and staff as it relates to Campers lives, many of which are at risk for violence and substance abuse. In addition, the evaluation helps KCFAA learn more about their campers and their families in order to provide the best AileyCamp experience possible.

The surveys ask caregivers and campers questions about:

  • Background information about the family and camper
  • How much support (emotional and economic) the family and camper feel they receive, and where they would turn if they needed help
  • How well the camper and his or her caregivers get along
  • The way the camper thinks, acts, and feels, as well as his or her sleep habits and level of aggression
  • The stressful events the camper has experienced
  • The risk behaviors the camper may or may not engage in
  • The knowledge and attitudes the camper has about drugs and alcohol
  • The camper and the family’s satisfaction with the AileyCamp experience

At the beginning and at the conclusion of camp, AileyCampers completed The Children’s Hope Scale (Snyder, 1997), the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, the Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents (Harter, 1988), and the Exposure to Violence Questionnaire.

As would be expected for this subset of inner-city children, descriptive information collected by measures and in focus groups indicated that AileyCampers had witnessed high rates of violence and drug activities in their communities, thus confirming the notion that collectively these campers are at risk for the development of such risk behaviors.

The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System was administered to gain a better understanding of campers experience with drugs and alcohol. A four- month follow-up for AileyCamps 1999 and 2000 indicates that campers are not increasing experimentation or regular use of drugs and alcohol as would be expected for adolescents from similar backgrounds. Camp graduates reported a decrease in regular smoking behavior in the preceding month at four-month follow-up when compared with pre-camp levels (5.8% vs. 2.4 AileyCamp has also been evaluated five times by Dr. Carol Fineberg and Charles E. Wilson of C.F. Associates, arts and education consultants fromNew York. Dr. Fineberg is a curriculum specialist and helped with the original design of AileyCamp in 1989. Her evaluations are qualitative and address environment, staff, planning, training, execution, curriculum and scheduling. Dr. Fineberg has helped to strengthen the camp process and experience>

At the end of AileyCamp, Campers reported a highly significant increase in their skill levels in AileyCamp curriculum subjects, including ballet, tap dance, jazz dance, modern dance, creative writing, and percussion music skills. More than 80% of Campers reported that they would take dance classes again if given the opportunity. The post camp survey also reported a significant increase in Camper’ jingles ability to develop and find pathways to achieve goals.

AileyCamp has also been evaluated five times by Dr. Carol Fineberg and Charles E. Wilson of C.F. Associates, arts and education consultants fromNew York. Dr. Fineberg is a curriculum specialist and helped with the original design of AileyCamp in 1989. Her evaluations are qualitative and address environment, staff, planning, training, execution, curriculum and scheduling. Dr. Fineberg has helped to strengthen the camp process and experience.

Camp Wish List:
15 Six-Week Camperships @$1,200 each$18,000
200 AileyCamp Uniforms (tights, shorts, bag, leotard) @$42 each$8,400
50 Tap Shoes @$35 each$1,750
180 Ballet Slippers @$12 each$2,160
360 Camp T-Shirts @$5 each$1,800
Total$32,110

Testimonials

Testimonal

“As we expected camp has been WONDERFUL. The genuine smile on (my daughter’s) face in the pictures I took at drop off and the ones the counselors are sending me are testament to what an amazing thing you are doing. Thank you so very, very much! ”

Testimonal

“I can see what other kids have gone through and how they survived. It helps me get through & conquer. We are all survivors. That’s a gift.”

Testimonal

“When I'm at camp, I feel like a normal kid. Some kids don't get to go outside because our parents are just working too much and too hard. At home, I'm just watching movies all day. I don't want to get too old to come to Wildwood.”

Testimonal

“Without the support of Camps for Kids and the matching fund, CHD Families would be unable to provide a free medically supervised summer camp for kids with Congenital Heart Defects.”

Testimonal

“I look back on the struggle of my childhood and one of the most important and best childhood memories I have include the time spent at camp with the amazing men and women who treated me like I was normal despite my struggle”

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