Hometown Hero directs summer camp that keeps kids educated, active in community

Hometown Heroes

LaDonna Walker-Newell is the director of KKings Kamp in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – From making crafts to learning reading and math, KKings Kamp in Youngstown is the place for students to spend the summer.

This week’s Hometown Hero is LaDonna Walker-Newell, the director of KKings Kamp at Elizabeth Baptist Church.

“They do lots of stuff to help the community. She has kids doing service projects to think of others and she always just wants the kids to try and be a blessing to everyone else in the community,” said Shannon Sefcik, a Youngstown City Schools teacher.

Sefcik sees all the work Walker-Newell does to help kids.

“Just offering that support over the summer to make sure kids are reading. They have a reading time every day with this camp. It’s wonderful,” Sefcik said.

Walker-Newell’s focus is to bring families together in the community.

“So they can have positive impacts on their community, their neighborhood, their block and right inside their own home,” Walker-Newell said.

Walker-Newell volunteers her time Monday through Friday, 8 hours a day, spending it with the students and creating a plan for each day.

“Having academics, math and reading, tutoring Tuesday through Friday. We do pre-opposed assessments, so we are helping students where they are,” Walker-Newell said.

Students learn more at camp than just classroom skills.

“Socialization — they learn how to be friends, how not to quickly take offense to each other, how not to quickly judge but always be ready to reconcile,” Walker-Newell said.

Walker-Newell has always had a passion for helping children.

“I don’t do this looking for any type of award. I volunteer my time to do this because it’s needed and someone once-upon-a-time did this for me,” Walker-Newell said.

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