Create video games, learn Shakespeare at Discovery Camp

JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF

JOHNSON CITY — Superheroes, Shakespeare and fishing. What do these three things have in common?

That’s what incoming third- through sixth-grades are invited to discover during a free summer program at the Johnson City Library.

Discovery Camp is 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. June 8-12 at the library, 501 Nugent Ave. The camp is limited to 24 children, and the deadline to sign up is May 30.

Johnson City Library Director Maggie Goodman said children should bring a snack or a lunch each day.

On the first two days, children will create their own superheroes, write stories about them and then learn computer code to turn their visions into video games.

The superhero project goes along with the Texas Summer Reading Program theme of “Every Hero Has a Story.”

Goodman started learning how to teach computer code to kids after talking to a computer instructor.

“She explained it’s important for kids to code or learn programming as we keep going along,” she said. “One million jobs will go unfilled unless kids start learning how to code.”

The librarian has a list of websites devoted to showing children easy ways to learn how to write code.

“There are other sites for high school kids and adults,” she said. “Some kids might not understand the design process for coding. Some of these websites show you how to code even if you’re offline.”

On June 10-11, students will learn William Shakespeare’s play “Henry V” to present to parents at noon June 11. They’ll create costumes and sets.

“Kids love anything with a battle scene,” Goodman said. “What better thing than ‘Henry V’?”

She noted the material is difficult to learn in two days, so it’s not exactly scripted. Instead, Goodman teaches them the story so they can tell it on their own, she said.

“I’m really a repressed actor,” she said. “So many people feel like Shakespeare is something to be feared or avoided at all costs. If they find out at a young age Shakespeare is acceptable to them, you don’t have to fear those things. It’s over 400 years old; it still applies to us.”

The last day of the camp will be spent at Blanco State Park, where park rangers will provide a fishing lesson and poles. Then attendees will try their luck before enjoying a picnic. The program is courtesy of the city and the park.

“I think if it’s going to be simple, then it’ll be fun,” Goodman said.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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