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“Pasta Rigga Grossy:” ELL Camp 2016 in Echo Park

This year’s ELL Camp was amazing as it ever could be. New activities were introduced, students made new friends, and most importantly, students became published authors!

For our first week, Food Week, we introduced 826LA Top Chef. “Chefs” made really delicious food, and by delicious I mean “disgustingly creative” as student Sidney B. wrote, like “Pasta Rigga Grossy.” While not all students were satisfied with their meals, we were sure that the students enjoyed critiquing these pieces as much as we enjoyed making them.

The next week we took a walk around the neighborhood to look at some murals. We looked at a mural with Dolores Huerta, Selena, and Frida Kahlo, or as some students put it, they said the women looked like Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez. Kids these days… Following the mural walk, we enjoyed a few rounds of the beloved game Loteria. Stakes were high, friendships were on the line, and everyone wanted to win. While there could only be a few winners per round, we managed to play a few times so that everyone got a lovely little prize.

Nature week was definitely an all around favorite for everyone. We took a lovely field trip to the Huntington Gardens and enjoyed the cool breeze under majestic trees while jotting down some explorer’s notes. Lunch was a huge staple though, especially the big cookies we got for dessert. Big shout out to Huntington Gardens for providing such amazing hospitality and Panera for the yummy lunch.

During STEM week, we introduced “Mathemagic” where students looked at magic tricks and hypothesized ways in which these tricks happened. Although we could not get a real mathemagician, we succeeded in leaving students in awe of all the wonderful things science can do.

Finally, during Future Adult week we launched 826LA University and talked about the future. Students ended this week by writing some very heartfelt speeches that included their favorite ELL Camp memories as well as “why the world should be in peace.”

ELL Camp could not have happened without the amazing support from all of our volunteers, parents, Summer Associates, and other 826LA staff members, and for that I am extremely grateful. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here as a volunteer, intern, and Summer Associate, making wonderful memories and getting to know many of the students. So thank you all for making my time here as best as possible, and many thanks to the students who have taught me more than I can ever teach them.

Kathy Morales, 826LA Summer Associate in Echo Park

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