Let Our Story Inspire You
EP2, envisioned, and later founded by Dr. Wilma Raye Harvey in 2007, offered a free summer camp experience in 2012 to children in the District of Columbia. The camp continues to this day and is funded by various community organizations and local government funds.
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Dr. Harvey's inspiration for the camp grew out of her own childhood experience with parents whose expectations were that she should be a good citizen, obtain a sound formal education, and maintain a strong spiritual belief in spite of the challenges of financial hardships that were faced by her family.
Years later, following a stint on the DC School Board, Dr. Harvey witnessed the educational challenges that many children faced at home and in the classroom, which placed them at risk for underperforming in school and for poor educational outcomes. She was also aware that many children lived in families with a history of chronic disease, such as obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Also, some had endured domestic and community violence.
Dr. Harvey desired to create a learning environment to help children address these challenges by applying the life-sustaining principles she had learned from her parents. Thus, the summer camp idea was born as an opportunity to work with children and their families to augment the children’s academic skills and their knowledge of healthy eating while providing a safe and fun place for them to enjoy the summer.
Over the years, the camp curriculum has been expanded from its base of providing academic and recreational learning modules to including health and nutrition modules, a STEM module, an urban gardening module, a physical fitness module, social and emotional learning (e.g. anger management, conflict resolution), coding, swimming classes, social service referrals when needed, and an after school homework assistance and coding program.
The children also enjoy trips to well-known African American tourist sites in the District of Columbia. The initial camp in 2012 took place in Dr. Harvey’s home church, Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church at 15th and L Streets, NW, and at Benning Park Housing Development in Northeast, DC. Later, it found a home at Wardman Court Apartments, located at 1312 Clifton Streets, NW, and at a DC Department of Recreation site (Rita Bright) in Northwest, DC.
Several campers return to the EP2 camps year after year because they and their parents enjoy the camp’s offerings and overall experience. The camp has benefited from generous community support and support from various agencies and organizations that are invested in its success. It has also grown to include program partners such as Brave Heart Entrepreneurial Youth Camp, which is actively engaged in providing program offerings in entrepreneurship and coding.
In addition, individuals as experts have been invited to conduct sessions on various topics, including health and nutrition, urban gardening, swimming, physical fitness, and social and emotional learning concepts and techniques. The DC Department of Employment Services provides youth workers in the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) to assist camp staff in carrying out camp activities.
COVID-19 has now inspired the development of a virtual summer camp and virtual after school program which comprise the newest developments of Dr. Harvey’s vision for services to children, youth, and their families in life-challenging environments.