Neff Lankford, an instructional designer with UA Little Rock’s eLearning office, will host an integrated summer camp for up to 50 students in grades 6-12 this summer.
Lankford, who graduated in May from UA Little Rock with a master’s degree in education in the Learning Systems Technology Program, runs a nonprofit, Alliance of Arts Inc., with her husband, Terence Lankford, a middle school principal at ScholarMade Achievement Place. The couple has combined their skills to provide this camp.
“I’ve been doing dance camps for about 10 years, and my husband has been doing band camps for about six years,” Lankford said. “This is the second year we’ve collaborated to integrate band, dance, and academics into this wonderful comprehensive summer program for the youth.”
The Alliance of the Arts Inc. Summer Arts Intensive Camp will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 1 through June 18. The three-week hybrid camp will offer a variety of activities in the arts, music, dance, academics, and outdoor activities.
During the first two weeks of camp, participants will attend camp online on Mondays and Wednesdays and in-person on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Horace Mann Arts and Science Magnet Middle School. They will learn about math, English language arts, dance, and music.
There will be 11 instructors for the camp. For the academic lessons, each student will take an assessment at the beginning of the camp so that students receive an individualized tutoring program through August. The Arkansas STEM Coalition has provided 40 laptops for participants to use during the camp.
During the final week of camp from June 15-18, students will stay at the Arkansas 4-H Center to participate in a movie and a campfire, ziplining, swimming, canoeing, archery, and arts and crafts to create a Father’s Day present. The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture planned the schedule at the Arkansas 4-H Center. The camp will conclude with participants performing during the Juneteenth in Da Rock celebration at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center on June 18.
The camp is being funded through a $25,000 grant Lankford received after completing a grant writing class at UA Little Rock. Alliance of Arts Inc. is one of 20 community foundations in Arkansas selected to receive funding from Facebook, Inc. to manage grant making to support Black communities and Black-led nonprofits. The Community Foundation, in partnership with the Arkansas Black Philanthropy Collaborative, provided grants of up to $25,000 to support programs and initiatives specifically designed to impact Black people and communities in the Little Rock metropolitan area.
“We do this camp to make a difference in the community,” Lankford said. “We want to see more students grow in their talents and gifts. We want them to be more confident when they are taking standardized tests and auditioning for college scholarships. We invest in professional developments so that our instructors feel prepared and confident that we can increase test scores in the central Little Rock areas. We also want to increase skills in the performing arts sector, while teaching students that learning is fun!”
The camp has a registration fee of $75. Visit aoainc.info for more information and to register.