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Episode #21003

French Camp

Air date 11/05/09
Host: Walt Grayson

Mississippi Roads travels the Natchez Trace to French Camp Academy to study this very successful boarding school.  Then we meet Dr. Mark Yeager who founded Kamp Kaleidoscope to provide a one-of-a-kind summer camp experience for kids on the autism spectrum.  Finally, we learn about students in Jackson who are learning to grow and growing to learn at Casey Elementary.

 

 

French Camp, Miss. 

In 1885, long before public schools, a group of Scott-Irish Christians established a school at French Camp on the Natchez Trace in Mississippi. The Presbyterian Church established The Central Mississippi Institute for Girls, followed by French Camp Academy for Boys later that year.  In 1915, fire destroyed the girls’ institute and the schools were combined under the name French Camp Academy.   A major change took place in 1950 when French Camp Academy was reorganized under the direction of a Board of Trustees representing several denominations.  Today, as an independent Christian boarding school, French Camp Academy is interdenominational and exists to serve young people and families in crisis.  The school provides a safe, healing and stable place for students to live, grow and learn.

The Natchez Trace Historic Village at French Camp has many sites to see for folks traveling down the Trace. You can stay the night in the only Bed & Breakfaston the Natchez Trace.  You can also discover early American life by walking through the 19th century style farm houseto see how a Revolutionary War soldier lived.  See how handmade quilts are stitched together piece by piece.  If you are hungry stop in for homemade sandwiches and soups which are made six days a week in the Council House Cafe.  Or if you stop by on a Saturday in October, Sorghum Molasses is cooked the old fashioned way at the historic village.

Kamp Kaleidoscope

Kamp Kaleidoscope offers a wonderful and extremely unique opportunity for some very special kids.  Kamp Kaleidoscope is an inclusive summer camp program providing summer fun for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  The camp is attended by children diagnosed with ASD and their neuro-typical peers, providing a fun and educational summer experience.  Kamp Kaleidoscope was founded by Dr. Mark H. Yeager and was developed to meet the summer program needs of children with ASD who were either not accepted to other camps due to their diagnosis or space was not available.  The basis for the camp is steeped deep in the concept of socialization with neuro-typical peers.  The need to develop these skills is found at the center of all activities conducted at the camp.

Casey Elementary School

Casey Elementary School in Jackson offers a unique opportunity for their students with the Casey Kid’s Garden.  The garden is a voluntary school project and is the only one of its kind in the State of Mississippi.  This outside learning facility has been the result of two years of hard work from a combination of Casey students, parents, and teachers.  The garden was constructed by hand and used an eco-friendly approach by using 100% recycled materials.

Through their hands-on experiences in caring for the garden, the children learned about math and science by planting, observing and measuring the growth of each plant.  Each student took what they had learned and recorded their progress in journals they kept for the growing season.  Besides gaining knowledge on how to properly water and care for plants, they also learn some pretty important life lessons.  They were educated in responsibility, dependability, self sufficiency and the importance of sharing that knowledge with others.

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