PHOTO GALLERY — Summer Day Camp kids get free shoes, other goodies at awards ceremony

Published 12:30 am Friday, July 29, 2022

Approximately 30 Sam Houston Elementary School students received free shoes Thursday, but they spent the summer working for them.

The gift was part of the Awards Day Ceremony to close out the last day of the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club Summer Day Camp.

“All of our kids have participated in the Mile Club Program,” said Royce Watson, interim director. “The Mile Club Program started because in Jefferson County the No. 1 cause of death is high blood pressure, heart disease and other preventable diseases. So we put the Mile Club Program in there to get our students active early, so as they grow into adults that are still active.”

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The summer camp attendees walked each day throughout the summer.

“When they get the shoes, they walked a mile or more to get them,” Watson said.

The Foundation of Southeast Texas donated the shoes. Other gifts included box fans and snacks from Entergy, funds from Hancock Whitney for the program’s community garden and a donation from Triangle Community Outreach.

The summer program, which took place at Houston Elementary School, began June 6 and ended Thursday following an awards ceremony. This year registration was $25, Watson said, but they are working to have all tuition fees paid next year.

“It’s gone really well,” said Fire Chief Greg Benson, who oversees the Board of Directors. “There’s been a good number of kids and a consistent turnout. It’s making a good point and giving the kids what they need.”

Participants, who all attend Houston Elementary School, spent the summer gardening, exercising and making use of the program’s new game room, among other activities.

When school begins, the Boys and Girls Club will resume its after-school program, which serves children from the school from 3-7 p.m. for $1 per day.