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By Kelly Graham
EIS instructional coordinator
Time for instruction, is it really important? It is essential to students’ learning. Summer break, is it necessary? Absolutely. But, perhaps both can go hand in hand when accomplishing the task of boosting reading levels and revving up enthusiasm and passion for reading.
If there is one theme running through the Elizabethtown Independent Schools strategic plan, it would be time devoted for instruction. One of the strategic plan’s objectives is increasing the number of instructional minutes to extend the school day in order to provide more time for reading and math interventions; another is building in time for making home visits and time for student mentoring.
In regard to summer break, one objective is to use this time to develop and implement a summer reading intervention program for kindergarten through fifth-grade students who are reading below grade level.
Thus, the first official Panther Summer Reading Camp, Reading Round-Up, is July 11 through 22 at Valley View Education Center from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
More than 95 students were recommended by our district teachers to attend this camp and all of them have committed to participate in the Round-Up. Transportation will not be an obstacle, since it is provided for all students. In addition, a free lunch will be furnished daily for the students, compliments of the Elizabethtown Independent Family Resource Youth Center, working in conjunction with the Hardin County Schools Food Service Program.
The daily agenda for Reading Round-Up will be structured much like a vacation Bible school, grouped by grade and reading level, with lots of reading activities including art and crafts, songs, cooking, snacks, guest book readers, reading games and a fieldtrip to Barnes and Noble. The last day of this wild west environment will be rounded up with an opportunity for students to have their picture taken with a pony as a souvenir to remind them of this summer activity. The main goal for the children is to inspire reading for a lifetime.
Many thanks to all of the Elizabethtown Independent Schools teachers and staff who are devoting two weeks of their summer break to assist with this very important event. The professionals working this camp believe the investment of their time is time well-spent.
Kelly Graham is instructional coordinator at Elizabethtown Independent Schools.