HUACHUCA CITY — Six-year old Jacob Smuda, with guidance from team leader Gabby Gallegos, 12, got a taste of digital photography Tuesday morning through a summer program for kids, organized by the town of Huachuca City.

About 25 children from kindergarten through fifth-grade are enrolled in the first session of Summer Splash 2019, a program that started June 3 and runs through June 28, Monday through Friday, held at Huachuca City School.

Breakfast and lunch are provided, and cost for the program is $70 for kids who live in the Tombstone School District, or attend either Huachuca City or Walter J. Meyer school. Out-of-district kids pay $100 per month-long session.

The program’s July session goes until the 26th of the month.

For the photography activity, the kids were expected to read a “challenge” from a strip of paper and then photograph something that fits the challenge. Some were more difficult than others, which is where the team leader stepped in and offered a helping hand.

Examples of challenges include taking a photo of something with texture, taking an intentionally blurred photo to show action, or photograph something that starts with the letter “A.”

Loaded with a list of educational, hands-on activities, Summer Splash provides children with a safe environment under the supervision of Efrain Galvez, the program’s educator, who is assisted with an aide.

“The kids really enjoyed the digital photography activity. They took great pictures and did a good job of following directions. I’m impressed with the results,” Galvez said.

The pictures will be collaged and mounted on a large mat in the school gymnasium.

Funding for the photography project came from the Cochise County Library District through a Library Services and Technology Act grant, said Suzanne Harvey, Huachuca City library services director.

“This is a program called ‘Creativity in a Box’ and it provides different hands-on activities for kids. Libraries across the county choose activities they would like to use. It’s a fantastic program with great activities and is designed to help rural libraries with limited budgets,” Harvey said.

Tie dye and card making are future projects organizers have planned for the kids.

Along with hands-on projects, Summer Splash also includes time at the library, swimming in nearby Huachuca City pool and sports activities.

“We are so fortunate to have Efrain (Galvez) on board as our program educator,” Harvey said. “This year, we did not have the funds available for Summer Splash. We were able to get funding support from the Legacy Foundation of Southeastern Arizona, along with a donation from the Huachuca City Lions Club.”

Ten-year-old Gabby Gallegos said she enjoys the Summer Splash activities, hanging out with her friends that are enrolled in the program and helping with the younger children.

“I think this is a fun way to spend our summer break,” she said. “It’s a lot better than staying at home watching TV or playing video games. I really like the different activities Efrain comes up with for us to do.”

For information about the program, call the Huachuca City Public Library at 520-456-1063.

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