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The Johnson Foundation recently announced the award of a grant in the amount of $20,000 to the Children of the Book Summer Reading Camp, a community initiative founded by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Jamestown.
Funds from the grant will be used to acquire technology for the program, such as IPads, software applications and additional equipment to help increase students’ literacy capacity using a multimodal approach. The applications will enhance different texts being read in the classroom, provide resources for understanding material further and for extending and assessing reading comprehension.
“We are extremely grateful for the support of the Johnson foundation.” said the Rev. Luke Fodor, Rector of St. Luke’s. “The addition of these tools will help the students develop expertise with technology that may not be available to them in their own homes and will allow our staff to create diverse and interesting lessons.”
This is the second year for the Reading Camp, whose objective is to help promote literacy skills for elementary school-aged children. Designed to inspire students and their parents to read every day, the camp also connects them with the community through weekly-themed units and partner reading time with adult volunteers.
The vision for the Children of the Book Reading Camp is that the program will grow to become a regular summer offering for Jamestown children to help provide them not only with the ability to improve their reading skills, but also with the same type of stability that they experience during the school year. Fodor credits support from community resources such as the Johnson Foundation with helping to build a foundation that will allow the program to be sustainable for years to come.
“Our intention is for the Reading Camp to be a continuing summer program to help offer these children a loving and stimulating environment when the schools are closed for the summer.” Fodor explained. “St. Luke’s initially started the camp as a way to connect with the local community and to help students avoid the ‘summer slump’ that often happens when children do not receive regular reading instruction. In reality, it has become much more than that. Many of these children and their families need the daily structure that school provides. The reading camp gives them something that is familiar and regular during the summer months. We nourish them, not only by serving them breakfast and lunch each day, but also by providing them with positive role models to help them reach their potential to become productive community members themselves.”
The Children of the Book Reading Camp is offered free of charge to students entering the third, fourth, fifth or sixth grades, and is held Monday – Friday mornings at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 410 North Main Street, Corner of Fourth and Main, Jamestown. The camp has extended its program schedule from four to five weeks this summer, and will culminate with a Family Fun Day on July 29th.
For more information about the camp, call the St. Luke’s church office at 716-483-6405 or visit the Children of the Book website: https://childrenofthebook.org/