Award-winning Durham University students’ YouTube summer camp enters second year

‘Learn With Us’ and its jam-packed summer schedule (Image by Livia Dove-Woods)

A free, virtual summer camp run by Durham University students is returning for its second year. ‘Learn With Us’ was designed to keep young people aged nine to eleven learning throughout the summer holidays through a series of educational videos in a range of subjects, such as English, science, geography and music, which explore topics in innovative and fun ways.

‘Learn With Us’ was founded last summer and recently won ‘Best Educational Volunteering Project’ at this year’s Durham University Student Volunteering Awards. It has since returned for the summer of 2021 with the first of the new series of videos posted on YouTube on Monday 19th July with more to follow until Thursday 19th August, after which all videos will remain online. Since the project first began, 31 volunteers have contributed almost 3,000 hours of their time, creating 62 videos which have been watched 5,000 times.

Gianmarco Di Gregorio, the Psychology student at Trevelyan College who founded the project, said: “When children started missing school due to the pandemic, we wanted to help them stay motivated and engaged with learning. We were particularly worried about what summer would like for underprivileged pupils and had some fantastic feedback from parents and children on our first summer camp. We’re so excited to be back for 2021.”

One parent whose child took part spoke of the project: “We really enjoyed the range of interactive learning materials available last year and look forward to exploring new themes and activities this summer. It’s great to have this type of resource available to support children who have missed out on a lot of formal education this past year-and-a-half.”

Another parent said: “My children really enjoyed the summer camp last year. It was great to see that they were able to put what they were learning into practice with their friends. So, we are really looking forward to learning more this summer.”

Student Jude Hanlon, this year’s summer camp director, said: “Every one of our volunteers holds the same passion and dedication to our summer campers. They go above and beyond to engage and inspire our pupils. I’m so proud and grateful to this team – the successes of this project are owed to their hard work, enthusiasm and generosity.”

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