Santa Barbara Education Foundation (SBEF) has been well-known for the opportunities it provides Santa Barbara Unified students throughout the school year. However, many may not know that it also provides opportunities for students during the summer.
SBEF offers students camps that explore music and STEAM every summer. According to SBEF Programs Manager Katie Szopa, “We want to create camps that act as a connecting bridge to the performing arts and STEAM classes.”
The camp offerings for music include strings, drumline, and the well-known Nick Rail Summer Band Camp. Junior high students can also learn to code and build robots and drones or dabble in the culinary arts through baking or creating Mediterranean delights from scratch in the STEAM Camp.
The overall goal is to expose students to music, engineering, and culinary arts in a fun and supportive environment that encourages students to pursue these areas later in their academic careers. “Then perhaps these same students will sign up for band and culinary classes at the secondary level, or even apply to the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy after spending the summer building and coding robots,” said Szopa.
The long-running Nick Rail Summer Band Camp has been welcoming aspiring young musicians since 1989. The well-established four-week program provides students entering 4th through 9th grade an opportunity to try out an instrument for the first time or continue their musical learning on an instrument they may already play at school. Regardless of level, all of the young musicians perform in a concert at the end of camp.
Although there is a cost to the camps, SBEF works hard to ensure that these enrichment opportunities are accessible to all students by fundraising throughout the year to provide scholarships. Typically, about half of the enrolled campers receive a scholarship to participate.
The deadline for registration is June 8. Scholarships are available. For more information and to register, please visit sbefoundation.org.
Santa Barbara Education Foundation promotes private support of Santa Barbara’s public education system in 19 schools.