‘Children of the Book’ Summer Reading Camp Seeks Participants and Volunteers

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The Children of the Book Summer Reading Camp will begin its five week summer session on June 27th 2016. This will be the second year for the program, which will conclude on July 29th. The camp will be held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 410 North Main Street, Jamestown.

The reading program is open to children who will be entering the 3rd through the 5th grade in the fall of 2016 that need assistance with literacy skills. The camp runs Monday through Friday from 8:15am to 12pm. The daily schedule includes instructional time, partner reading and weekly themes that include fun group programs. A free breakfast and lunch is served to all participants. There is no cost to participate, but families are asked to pre-register their students.

Director Susan Schrader is excited about the continuation and expansion of the program, which was initiated by St. Luke’s in 2015 as a way to help students maintain and improve their reading skills over the summer break.

“Although the program was planned to enhance the literacy of children, so much more was accomplished.” she explains. “Families whose children were enrolled in last yeas camp benefited from the entire experience. 900 meals were served, three students were sponsored to Audubon Nature Camp, two families were assisted with getting water in their homes, parenting classes were offered, and everyone involved was spiritually uplifted! Students lives were enriched with various new experiences including origami, knitting, healthy eating, nature studies, and cultural studies. Children also shared their talents of music by singing karaoke and opera, dancing and exercising, as well as playing instruments all in one of the best acoustical places in Jamestown.”

The Children of the Book Reading Camp was recently awarded a grant from the Johnson Foundation which will be used to procure IPads and other technology for participants. The program has also been designated as one of the Chautauqua Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Council’s Hope Coalition “Bright Spots” and will be honored at their public event on June 16th at the Jamestown YWCA.

The Rev. Luke Fodor, Rector at St. Luke’s is impressed with the community enthusiasm for last year’s program.

“St. Luke’s Episcopal Church was the spearhead of getting this program underway, but the whole Jamestown Community became involved.” he said. “Local government including the mayor, assemblyman, and congressman came to share their time and support. Fire and police service volunteers came to share their expertise. Rotary Clubs, St. Luke’s Thrift Shop, St. Luke’s Bishop Overs Guild, Loop the Lake, and local personal contributions helped to fund the program with their contributions. The Prendergast Library partnered their reading program so that 100% of our students were involved in their Summer Reading Program. Most amazingly, 288 hours of volunteered time was spent partner reading with a variety of people from the Jamestown community who gave their time to read with the children. Local businesses such as Lakeshore Savings, Rotary, Jackson Center, and JBC took time out of their busy day to be reading partners.”

Plans for the 2016 camp are well underway and include a variety of exciting programs based on this year’s theme “Better Community, Better Me.” Each week features a Friday Fun Day event. This year the special events include a visit to the Fenton Museum and an Alpaca farm, as well as presenters from Cummins “Dream It Do It” program and a Fun Day at the park.

Organizers are looking for volunteers to help with many aspects of the program. Teachers are needed Monday through Friday to help with instruction and supervision. Cooks and servers are also needed each day for breakfast and lunch. Volunteer readers are needed from Monday through Thursday from 10:20 to 11:00am. Readers are encouraged to volunteer for a full week, but daily volunteers will be accepted as well. Businesses are also asked to consider donating their employees’ time to the reading portion of the program as a public service to the community.

For more information about student pre-registration or volunteering for the Children of the Book Summer Reading Camp, please contact St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at 716-483-2876 or Susan Schrader at sschrader32@icloud.com. Highlights from the Summer Reading Camp 2015 are available at https://vimeo.com/142520362