Star Staff Reports
Research shows that students can lose 1 to 3 months of reading skills over the summer break. In an attempt to decrease this summer slide, Millington Elementary School conducted a Summer Reading Program for rising third and fourth graders.
During this inaugural camp, students were exposed to quality literature, fun activities, and jobs in the community.
This camp was held one day a week for four weeks and was a collaborative endeavor between teacher volunteers from the elementary school, student volunteers from MCHS, and the community. The weekly themes for the camp were plants, sports, health and nutrition, animals, and architecture. Community resources included Jones Orchard, Millington YMCA, Dr. Brent Pugh, Mid-South Therapy Dogs, Angela Hyde from the UT Extension office, Shelby Forest Nature Center, Millington Public Library, and Lowe’s.
Through the use of Title I funds, books were purchased to use for this camp, focusing on STEAM themes where science and math are easily incorporated into literacy, as well as books of interest at a variety of reading levels for the children to check-out.
Students were able to check out books each week, which gave families the opportunity to be engaged in this reading. These books will also be used further for instruction throughout the upcoming school year.
The idea of having a summer reading camp came after hearing about the summer reading slide and a study done in conjunction with Reading is Fundamental. Statistics show that more than 80 percent of children from economically disadvantaged communities can lose 1-3 months of reading skills over the summer.
Millington Elementary did not want to see that happen!
Teachers collaborated on the best way to implement a summer reading program. As a result of this collaboration, it was decided to invite current second and third grade students for the inaugural year of a summer reading program, as third grade is a pivotal year. Studies indicate that 75 percent of students who are poor readers in 3rd grade remain poor readers in high school.
Through the use of Title I funds, we were able to purchase books to use for this camp, focusing on STEAM themes where science and math are easily incorporated into literacy, as well as books of interest at a variety of reading levels for the children to check-out.
This books can be used further for instruction throughout the school year. We wanted students to check out books each week to read them, so we decided to hold the camp one day a week over a four week period to give the students time to read, and families the opportunity to be engaged in this reading, then return the books to check out new ones the next week.
Because there was no money to pay teachers to work this camp, teachers signed up to volunteer their time.
We also reached out to Millington High School to ask for student volunteers. Businesses and members of our community were contacted to see if they could talk with the children and perform activities around the themes of the books read each week. The themes, speakers, and activities were as follows:
June 10 – Plants. Jones Orchard provided different fruits for the children to try. Grandpa’s Garden, The Mangrove Tree, and No Monkeys No Chocolate were read. The children performed a “walking water” experiment showing the absorption process, and they planted radish seeds on a seed strip to plant in our garden in the fall.
June 17 – Sports, Health and Nutrition. Justin Inskeep from the Millington YMCA came to speak and play with the children. Hoop Genius was read to the children. The students also heard from Alex Rodriguez and Dawn booth about fitness and nutrition. They then played math/ science hoops where they answered a math or science question and got to shoot a hoop if they got it correct.
June 24 – Animals. Dr. Brent Pugh, a Millington Elementary parent and local veterinarian, came to talk to the children as well as Angela Hyde from the UT Extension office. Students also read to the Mid- South Therapy dogs and volunteers, made dog puppets to read to them, and heard the true story, Rags Hero Dog of WWI.
We have our final day of camp on Friday, July 1, where although building is our primary theme, we will also get to hear from Shelby Forest and see some animals to build on our theme from last week as well as hear from Dorothy Chancey from the Millington Public Library about further reading opportunities this summer.
In addition, Lowes is sending out a team of people to talk about building and provide a building activity for each student. The students will hear the book, Iggy Peck, Architect.
Because our librarian has volunteered her time several Fridays this summer, opening the library to families, our campers will be able to come back next Friday with their family to return their books, and check out some more.
The effectiveness of this camp will be measured through student Star reading results and parent surveys.