For the past 24 summers, Eddie Lee Wilkins and his wife Dawn have held summer programs to engage the local youth. The idea began in 1989 when Wilkins was playing professional basketball for the New York Knicks and wanted to start a summer basketball camp for the children in his hometown of Cartersville. In 1990, the program started with basketball but since then the schedule has grown to encompass more than just athletics.
The newest addition to the lineup of events this year is Everyday Math taking place June 23-25.
“Math is everywhere; we use it daily. Whether we realize it or not, we use math at the grocery store, when we make recipes or at restaurants. We need to reach kids and create in them a more positive outlook on math,” Dawn Wilkins said.
Darya Dismuke Barnes, a Cartersville City School elementary teacher, is scheduled to lead the class, which is open to youth ages 6-11. They will examine a variety of techniques to improve the students’ ability to comprehend math. The final day of the class will include a field trip to the Bank of the Ozarks, the program’s sponsor. The children will experience first-hand interactions with tellers and role play to better understand the importance of proper financial management.
“The importance of our summer program is that it gives kids something to do and keeps them out of trouble. In the past we received data from the Cartersville Police Department showing that while our program was operational crime was lower. They hear messages from Bartow County leaders on the importance of education, staying off drugs and other ways to be successful,” Wilkins said.
Before each athletic session begins the students are required to attend an educational or social intervention session, according to the organization’s website, elwyouth.org.
Lunches and snacks are provided each day by the Cartersville City School System.
The summer schedule will be held at the JH Morgan Gym at 129 Aubrey St., Cartersville,
Daily Trivia: June 2-26
Dance: June 5-6
Summer Basketball League: June 7 through July 19
Boys & Girls Basketball: June 9-12 and June 16-18
Read, Write, Now: June 9-12 and June 16-18
Fun Day: June 26
For more information on Eddie Lee Wilkins Youth Association or the summer programs, please visit elwyouth.org.