GRAPEVINE -- Camp iCan is well-suited to Timberline Elementary School's new mission.
The 31-year-old elementary school will launch a dual-language program in the fall along with Cannon Elementary, the district's second and third dual-language programs for kindergartners and first-graders.
Parents signed up their children in the spring, and like the initial dual-language intensive program at Silver Lake, Timberline's slots filled quickly.
Camp iCan is a summer program for many of those students.
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On Friday, more than 200 bilingual and English as a second language students ages 4 to 10 gathered excitedly around a smokeless campfire of wood planks; red, yellow and orange tissue flames; and a flashlight stuck in the middle.
"It's funny, but some kids had never seen cut firewood before," said Anita Clayton, Timberline's summer school superintendent. "They all just wanted to touch it that first day."
Israel Garcia said he has camped outdoors a few times in his 6 years, but it was nothing like in Timberline's gymnasium.
"I enjoyed the bazooka cheer and the camp song," he said, "and I liked the marshmallows."
The Friday morning campfire party is a bonding experience for the students, Clayton said.
"This is where, as a school and a community, we gather together every Friday to sing and have fun," she said
Admission to the camp is based on interest, not academic performance.
It isn't a remedial program, organizers say.
"They come because their parents want them to," Clayton said. "They all want to be here."
Clayton's home campus is Silver Lake, where she is an assistant principal. Silver Lake has dual-language programs in first and second grades, and Cannon and now Timberline will have kindergarten and first grade. The programs will continue to grow with their participants through fifth grade.
The Grapevine-Colleyville school district offers summer language programs for English, Spanish and bilingual students through July 1 for primary students and July 15 for older children.
Shirley Jinkins, 817-390-7657