For the past thirty-five years, CampFire New Jersey has served Trenton students from Pre-K through middle school. Today, it serves approximately 3,500 students with an inclusive formula that tailors its curriculum based on the students’ need rather than through a top-down approach. The organization collaborates with The College of New Jersey and Dr. James Graham to establish a metric based curriculum — one that regularly evaluates programming to ensure they are addressing the needs of Trenton youth.
Currently being overhauled from a six week program to an eight week program, CampFire is allowing for more interactive instruction with Pre-K through 3rd grade. Their kindergarten “Safe and Sure” and their first grade “Count on Me Kids” curriculum empowers youth with coping skills, equips them on how to deal with stress, and instructs them on mindfulness. At the crux of the programming is a focus on improving social emotional learning for children in their formative years.
CampFire’s instructors are certified and trained in cultural diversity and sensitivity. Further, their pedagogy seeks parental input to make an inclusive and collaborative curriculum. Through a summer camp, in partnership with the South Broad Street CYO, students participate in service learning projects within the community on issues that they deem most pressing in their communities. This grants students the opportunity to take ownership in their community and contribute to positive tangible solutions.