Special to Iredell Free News

Speak Life and Live has continued its annual summer camps to help keep kids active and thinking throughout the summer. This summer’s enrichment program included Baseball Night, Art Day, and Chess and Reading Camps.

Leslie Morrison and Saira Estrada, the co-directors for Speak Life and Live, said making sure kids are learning and investing their energy in healthy activities year-round will benefit them and society in the long run.

Baseball Night

The summer schedule kicked off with a Charlottes Knights game sponsored by Bailey Services. It was a night to remember. Many of the kids had never been to a game and got to experience it in a royal manner as they practiced social-emotional skills. Several event employees and other baseball fans shared how well-mannered and enjoyable the kids were during the game.

Art Day

This was a day of individuality and creativity guided by Ashley Stovall, an art instructor, and college senior Aaron McNeill. The goal was to expose, empower and provide adequate tools and encouragement for students to be inspired by the arts and learn about diverse cultures. In addition, students had an opportunity to explore/experience history and learn emotional regulation through the expression of art. The Iredell Arts Council sponsored Art Day.

Reading Camp

Kids lose so much learning during the summer and haven’t recovered from the learning disruption that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, giving them this little jumpstart for the week and drilling down on fun techniques and study habits helps boost and maintain their reading levels. It also decreases learning loss when school starts in the fall. 

Chess Camp

Kids as young as six years old learn to move chess pieces, set up their boards, and play chess with other students. The kids’ confidence in the game and in themselves increase. It’s cool to see kids and parents absorbing knowledge and life skills. Students have improved their critical thinking, conflict resolution, and socialization skills. The Foundation of the Carolinas and Statesville Parks and Rec sponsored Chess Camp.


Speak Life and Live would like to give a big THANK YOU to Chick-fil-A, Statesville Rec & Parks, the amazing tutors and supportive parents for great partnership. Speak Life and Live is intentional in our work with kids to create safe and fun spaces where kids can grow and develop their social and emotional skills. 

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