Stacey Allred ’95 MA ’01, wants students to learn without realizing they are learning.

Allred is both an associate lecturer of elementary education at Ball State University’s Teachers College and program director of Summer Learning Fun at Camp Adventure, a partnership between the university, Muncie Community Schools, University Schools, and the Office of Charter Schools.

I believe that every child should have the opportunity of a high-quality enriching summer experience. We’ve worked to create a place in our community where under-resourced children can be on a level playing field with everyone else.

Camp Adventure is a four-week day camp for elementary-aged children in Delaware County. For a month each summer, the camp operates on a 41-acre outdoor environmental education facility run by Muncie Community Schools (MCS).

Ball State faculty and students, MCS personnel, as well as other local educators comprise camp staff. The camp is designed to minimize the potential loss of educational skills that children can experience over the summer months while providing enriching activities such as archery, low ropes courses, fishing, wagon rides, and nature hikes, as well as healthy nourishment for two meals and snacks each day.

While a typical summer camp costs about $1,300 per child, costs are kept to a minimum for participating children with generous support through grant funding, community organizations, and participating school districts.

The camp benefits Ball State, too. Education students working under Allred’s supervision get hands-on learning experiences.

Because they’re in charge of kids all day, undergrads get nearly quadruple the time with youngsters as in a usual practicum course, Allred said. “The more time you spend with children, the sharper your skills become.”

Allred graduated from Ball State University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and special education. She also has a master’s degree in learning disabilities and education administration. Her areas of interest include classroom management, instructional strategies, and family engagement.

Her work has been featured in both the 4th and 5th editions of The First Days of School as well as in SAGE Publications’ Encyclopedia of Classroom Management.

Allred began her career as a special education teacher in the Jay County School Corporation in 1995. She joined the Ball State faculty in 2009.

“I’ve never viewed teaching as a job,” she said. “It’s a calling. And here at Ball State, I have the opportunity to impact hundreds of children by inspiring and educating their future teachers. So, truly, I believe that what I do makes a difference.”

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