The teen program is more focused on journalism and portfolio development. The summer program is divided into three sessions: journalism, photojournalism and summer studio, where students work in order to hone their skills.
Last year, the photojournalism students worked on a project called “Portrait of 125th Street,” in which they documented the various businesses, business owners and customers of shops on the street, which includes mid-century furniture stores, a tattoo parlor, a martial arts studio, and a shoe repair shop.
“It was not just how to frame a shot,” Ricordi said. “It made them really stop and ponder how they can express the life around them.”
Rush said that MOCA’s summer programs offer students an outlet for expression.
“Art is essentially a part of everything,” he said. “A person who can write a poem is an artist, a person who can write a script is an artist, people who are able to make special effects and show people’s blood and guts, that’s an art. Even my brother who designs guns in his spare time – to him that’s his art.”
The Creative Arts Summer Program runs from June 11 to Aug. 17; the teen summer programs run from June 18 to Aug. 17. Each Creative Arts Summer Program session costs $150 for a MOCA member, North Miami resident or city employee and $200 for non-members. Grant scholarships are available. The summer teen program is free. Visit mocanomi.org for more information and to register.
Oleta River State Park
At Camp Live Oak at Oleta River State Park, campers get a change of pace from being confined to a classroom during the school year.
“The best thing about the camp is that it allows kids who don’t really like school or have a hard time in school to come to this kind of environment that’s different for them and they’re engaged,” said Susanna Coleman, the administrative director of Camp Live Oak. “Because it’s outside and not as restrictive, they open themselves to be learning a lot more.”
Through science projects and arts and crafts, campers ages 3 through 16 learn about earth science, physics, the environment, conservation and recycling.
But for 9-year-old Alec Smith, the best part about Camp Live Oak is simply being outdoors.
“You get to experience more things outdoors than just sitting inside and playing video games, which don’t teach you anything,” Alec said. “It’s fun being outdoors because you can play with your friends and stuff.”
Along with canoeing and going to the beach, archery is one of Alec’s favorite activities, especially because of his first experience shooting an arrow at Camp Live Oak five years ago.
“All the counselors were helping me try and get a bulls eye, and on my first shot I got it,” he said.
Camp Live Oak runs from June 11 to August 17. The camp offers a Lil Sprouts program for those ages 3 and 4, the regular summer camp for children ages 5-13, and a Teen Eco Experience for 14- to 16-year-olds. There are three sessions of three weeks each. Prices vary per age group and the amount of weeks and sessions. Visit campliveoakfl.com for more information and to register.