Push to keep children reading during summer break - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Push to keep children reading during summer break

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- School's out for summer, but the push to keep children reading continues.  A unique camp is aimed at helping struggling students.

In a week of hitting the books, there's a focus on fun and learning.  Even in a simple match game, students can practice sight words in a fun way.  They're common words used every day.

As Harvey Roberts of the St. Thomas Summer Reading Camp explains, "After a few days of doing that type of repetition, they begin to recognize the words even better than when they come in.  Their reading is more fluid and comprehension goes up."

This is the second year for the St. Thomas Reading Camp.  Zachary Taylor student Elijah Anders is happy he was selected for the free camp for the second year in a row.

Nine-year-old Elijah Anders says, "We read and write."  When asked what other activities he's done so far, the answer is, "Paint shirts and write."

St. Thomas Episcopal uses volunteers.  Some are retired educators, others are taking vacation time to help students with the intensive remedial reading program for second, third, and fourth graders.

Organizers say Zachary Taylor selected the students and some are just below grade level for reading.

Carolyn Warnick of the St. Thomas Reading Camp explains, "It's recommended for children who may not be getting extra help in school who aren't part of a special reading program, so we try to give them a little extra help."

In addition to reading, they're working on crafts and other projects.  The program helps boost their self-esteem.

Reading Camp is part of the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington.  There are eight camps in Kentucky, but this is the only one in Louisville.  Others are in Liberia and South Africa.

Reading Camp has served more than 1100 children in the last 10 summers in Kentucky alone.  St. Thomas Episcopal did fundraising to pay for the camp, valued at $175 per student.

Harvey Roberts of the reading camp says, "You have a long stretch between the end of school and the start of school, and this gives them the opportunity to focus on something that is a problem for them -- gives them a chance to do something that they otherwise wouldn't be doing at all during their summertime break."

The Summer Reading Camp runs through Friday.

Copyright 2013, WDRB News.  All rights reserved.

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