Reading Camp Seeks Community Support

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St Lukes - Reading Camp Photo

Article Contributed by
Squirrel Hill Consulting

The “Children of the Book” Reading Camp, an initiative of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, will be held this summer from June 29- July 25th. Intended to promote Literacy Skills for approximately 35 Love School Elementary Students entering third, fourth, or fifth grade, the half-day camp is a volunteer-based program that will connect the students with the community through weekly-themed units and partner reading.
The camp is designed to inspire students and parents to read together every day, to enhance their literacy skills and to celebrate the life of our community. The program’s mission is to provide positive family-focused literacy instruction to children who are below grade level or are at risk of falling below grade level during the summer recess. It operates on the belief that learners who are exposed to a variety of opportunities and positive reinforcement improve both their reading levels and foster a life-long love of reading and education. Parents of students who participate in the camp will also be offered instruction in ways to increase the literacy of their home.
The camp will be led by certified teachers and lay professionals from St Luke’s parish and supported by other community leaders. The Rev. Luke Fodor, Rector at St. Luke’s, explains the program’s inception. “As a ‘city church’ our church is looking for new and innovative ways to serve the local community. My children attend Love School and through our own experiences with the school it became apparent that there was a need that we could fill there. We have a strong and vibrant children’s program here at St. Luke’s and many of our parishioners are educators who are interested in children’s literacy.” Camp Director Susan Schrader, a Special Education/ESL teacher at Jefferson Middle School adds, “As teachers in the system, we were aware that the Public Schools are no longer able to fund summer reading programs as they had in the past. My colleagues and I know that all young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer, and this camp is a way that we can help.”
Organizers are looking for volunteers to help in many ways, including Partner Readers, Meal Servers and Special Presenters. Volunteers can offer their time on a daily, weekly or program-long basis. Volunteer orientation will be held at St. Luke’s on Tuesday, June 23rd from 5:00 to 6:30pm.
A fundraiser for the camp will be held at Brazil Craft Beer and Wine Lounge, 10 East 4th Street, Jamestown, on Thursday, June 25th starting at 5pm. 25% of all sales from the evening will be donated to help provide books for the students to take home at the end of the program. There will also be complimentary appetizers from 5-8 that night as well as raffles and drawings.
Other sponsors of the program include; Chautauqua Alcohol and Substance Abuse Council (CASAC), Chautauqua Opportunities, James Prendergast Library, Jamestown Noon Rotary (Monday), Jamestown Morning Rotary (Wednesday), Lutheran Social Services (Foster Grandparent Program), MOVE: Dance and Fitness, Planet Earth Catering, St. Luke’s Thrift Store.
For more information about Volunteering or Donating to the Children of the Book Summer Reading Camp, visit the group’s website at www.childrenofthebook.org or call, text or email Ms. Schrader at 716-720-7132 sschrader32@icloud.com