Star Staff Reports
For the second year, Millington Municipal School District was one of the 200 programs that were state grant recipients of Read to be Ready, a program to address Tennessee’s stalled scores in reading and to increase the percentage of Tennessee third-graders reading proficiently to 75 percent by 2025. Rising first through third grade students from E.A. Harrold and Millington Elementary School took part in this year’s summer reading camp, Touring Tennessee Through Texts.
Fifty-four students spent their days reading, writing, listening, speaking, and having fun as they attended this 4-week program. Led by thirteen dedicated teachers, students spent their days exploring different weekly themes through books, music, writing, hands-on activities, and weekly field trips. Guests also visited each school to read aloud, spend time, and share their experiences and expertise with the campers.
Connecting daily stories and activities to real life experiences helped students become excited about reading. Highlights of the camp included a student created art gallery connecting various genres of art with multiple books about Tennessee and art, a musical revue after students read books about blues, jazz, and rap, and a visit from a Meeman-Shelby Forest park ranger who exposed campers to various snakes and birds during our study of Tennessee wildlife. Also, during wildlife week, Lowe’s donated bird house kits and volunteers to assist the campers in building the bird houses to take home. Weekly field trips included visits to Memphis Rock n’ Soul Museum, C.H. Nash Chucalissa Museum, Brooks Museum of Art, and Lichterman Nature Center. Each field trip correlated with the reading and writing students participated in throughout the week.
Campers and their families also participated in family projects related to the weekly books and themes. Families were invited to attend the camp’s final celebration in which students displayed their weekly projects and enjoyed a slideshow of the camp activities. During the camp, students received free books each week. Over the course of the camp, each student received over 35 books to stock personal home libraries. The goal of the camp was to increase students’ enjoyment of reading as they make connections to the world around them and broaden their experiences as they realize that they can travel anywhere within the pages of a book.