06/22/14 — Reading camps start July 2 in the county

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Reading camps start July 2 in the county

By Melinda Harrell
Published in News on June 22, 2014 1:50 AM

The Read to Achieve reading camps will begin July 2 and last over a four-week period at 14 elementary schools across Wayne County.

Students attending these camps will be taught to improve their reading skills through focusing on five different reading aspects, which are phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

These reading camps are a part of the Read to Achieve initiative, which is geared to monitor and ensure that no third-grade student is promoted to fourth grade without having grade-level reading proficiency.

According to Wayne County Public Schools' elementary education curriculum coordinator Carol Artis, WCPS took the reading camps a step further than the state mandate requested, and invited kindergarten, first- and second-grade students to participate as well.

"We are trying to make this initiative positive. In order to completely support literacy education and fulfill the intent of the law, we invite the kindergarten through second-grade students to participate as well," Artis said.

According to Artis, the kindergarten through second-grade students who were issued invitations to the reading camps are "not struggling."

"These students were invited, not in a punitive way, but rather to facilitate student progress by providing one more layer of literacy education," Artis said.

However, the majority of the third-grade reading camp participants were unable to pass the end of grade test-reading portion, or were unable to gain a good cause exemption through passing the alternative assessment that WCPS offered, and were ultimately retained.

Read to Achieve requires these students to attend the summer reading camps in order for them to have the option of being promoted to fourth grade.

If they are able to pass a test at the end of the summer program, then these third-graders will be promoted.

If they do not pass that test, then they will be admitted into a "transitional" grade, which is a grade between third and fourth.

In November, they are offered another opportunity to pass a reading test and based on the outcome of that test they are promoted to fourth grade or retained.