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John Gregg Elementary School students completed Community Outreach Month activities in April with visits from local organizations.

   School counselor Tiffany Moses said representatives from J.B. Green Team, Elkhorn Valley Christian Service Camp and Austin Lake Park were among the guest speakers who stopped by the third-, fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms through early May to share insight about what they offer.

   “We had different organizations in the school to meet with the kids and talk about what’s available in the area. The kids also wore shirts, hats and hoodies that promoted an organization, church or business in the community,” she said. “Teachers had kids in class talk about them and the kids who had a farm also spoke about that. The other idea was to get kids thinking about different clubs, organizations and businesses and the community in general.”

   Among the speakers was Cameron Smith, marketing program director for Elkhorn Valley, which is only a stone’s throw from the school along Ohio 164 near Bergholz. Smith stopped by earlier this month and explained that the facility offers camps, retreats and other festivities for school students, church groups and more throughout the year with day camps for grades K-2 in June and summer camps for grades 1-6 through July. Middle school camp provides horsemanship, cooking, STEM, scuba and the Elkhorn Experience on June 17 with a camp for grades 6-8 from July 31-Aug. 5. More activities include high school camp for grades 9-12 in July and a mother/daughter camp in August, plus a new retreat center camp and wilderness and expedition events. Smith said Elkhorn Valley has dorms for lodging, a retreat center and Elkhorn Commons facility with sleeping rooms, a dining hall, pool and Messenger Chapel. The facility has fun for everyone with a lake, wilderness area and rock wall among other adventures.

   “Each week, [the camps] are for different grades,” Smith said. “We have day camps, a horse camp and a band camp.”

    He continued that many of the youth camps are coordinated through the school and those who stay sleep in the dorms and partake in crafts, high rope courses and other fun events. Fees vary but patrons can enjoy the full outdoor experience. More information is available at

   Meanwhile, Moses added that Community Day was welcomed by the school and local groups alike and she planned to hold more activities in the future. She also created a video which is available to view on the school’s social media. She said J.B. Green Team and First Westminster Church provided shirts for students and Moses said events were all part of a monthly theme for social and emotional learning.

  “The first five months were tied to a social and emotional curriculum while March was about careers and April was community. We did a dress-up day to match the theme and the kids seemed to enjoy it,” she added. “Part of the district’s strategic plan is to build connections between the school and community, so we’re trying to increase that.”

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