Mt. Zion AME Church in Riverview hosts a seven-week summer literacy camp program. Pictured here are award winners from last year’s camp.

Summer camp is always a fun time for students to unwind from the school year and have fun with their friends while participating in a variety of camp activities. However, there is a phenomenon sometimes referred to as a summer setback or the summer slide that students experience when they return to school in the fall. In order to minimize this setback, Mt. Zion AME Church in Riverview is pleased to announce its annual Unstoppable Summer Jam Literacy Fun Camp.

This is the seventh year that Mt. Zion AME Church has offered this exceptional program that is designed to keep students on track educationally while having summer fun. This unique camp offers seven fun-filled weeks to students at a reasonable price. For students ages 6-14, this summer program blends reading and writing along with dance classes, swimming classes, Spanish classes, fitness and field trips.

“This is a literacy camp designed for campers to have fun while learning,” said Reverend Karen Sims, lead pastor at Mt. Zion AME Church. “Our teachers work to ensure that campers do not have a summer learning lag and are ready to go back to school in the fall, confident in their abilities.”

In addition to reading and writing, the camp also focuses on science, technology and mathematics. Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, the entire camp program is limited to 40 campers. All campers are able to participate in every activity the camp offers.

“My favorite part of Summer Jam is seeing the excitement of campers when they learn and master new things,” said Sims. “The parents always want to know what we do all day because the campers are really tired from a full day of activities when they get home.”

The cost for Unstoppable Summer Jam Literacy Fun Camp is $65 per week and takes place Monday to Friday from Monday, June 7 to Friday, July 23. The camp is held at Mt. Zion AME Church, located at 5920 Robert Tolle Dr. in Riverview (on the corner of Bloomingdale Ave. and U.S. Hwy. 301) The church’s swimming takes place at the Brandon Sports and Aquatics Center. For more information, visit or call 337-7457.

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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.