BROCKTON – If Theo Julmice hadn’t registered for Brockton’s free day
camp program, the North Middle School student said he’d probably be sitting at
home all summer playing video games.
Instead, Julmice and dozens of others city students on Monday were
playing basketball, soccer and rowdy rounds of games like Sharks and Minnows on
opening day at James Edgar Playground, one of five parks hosting the program
through Aug. 20.
Others are located at North Junior High, Hancock Park, The Gilmore
School and O’Donnell’s Park.
“What I really like are the sports,” Julmice said.
The initiative that Mayor Bill Carpenter launched last summer, costs
between $40,000 and $50,000 to run.
It is paid through grants, fund-raisers and donations, including
$15,000 from Chartwells, which provides food service to Brockton schools,
Federal funds for 30 counselors’ salaries come from the Brockton
Area Workforce Investment Board, about $5,000 was raised at a golf tournament
last summer and a small amount of money comes from the non-profit Mayor’s
“There is no taxpayer money involved,” he said.
Besides offering children ages 7 to 12 somewhere to go four days a
week – from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. – the camp also serves free breakfast and
“The kids think this is just a fun thing to do this summer but for
me, it is a safe haven for them,” Carpenter said.
“Lots of working families can’t afford a fancy camp in the summer,”
he said. “So, here they have exercise and activity and a healthy breakfast and
“I’m happy to be participating,” said Roosevelt Wilson, 12, who
attends Plouffe Academy.
As were 9-year-old cousins Jaime Goodwyn, an Angelo School student,
and Taneja Goodwyn, who attends Baker Elementary.
Supervisors Davonte Powell, 16, and Rebecca Jerome, 18, each said
they are grateful for a good summer job.
But, they said, working in the camp program means more than
“I like kids and the camp is good for them because it helps them
learn responsibility,” Powell said.
Jerome, a sophomore at the University of New Hampshire, said she
hopes one day to find a career working with children.
Brockton Police Officer Bob Grayson stopped by for a visit along
with members of the department’s motorcycle unit.
“The nutrition program is great so kids aren’t going to the store to
get chips and soda,” he said. “The camp also builds friendships.”
Program director Chris Connolly, a Davis School history teacher,
said opening day had a few glitches – including water dispensers that didn’t
arrive – but overall all was well.
Last year, 60 children showed up for the first day of camp while more than 100
were counted this year, officials said.
Carpenter said he hopes to have 300-plus children enrolled by
From: The Enterprise