Thursday, June 19, 2008

Reading Camp at Grady High School

Demarkcus and Jacob Hackett Build Vocabulary Skills

Mastery Through Fluency is the theme of the Reading Camp held at Grady High School in Atlanta, Georgia. The four week camp offers remediation in reading skills using phonics, phrases and stories and a helpful dose of students coaching each other in the tasks set up by instructors, Jacob Hackett and Mecca Handy. "When fluency improves, comprehension follows", says Mr. Hackett.

The students spend four hours per day, five days per week in activities designed to provide a concentrated intervention to bring students up to reading on grade level. In line with the data driven approach and research-based methods that define Reading Camp, all students are tested at the beginning and at the end of the experience. Great Leaps curriculum is the major source of instruction.

A typical day at camp begins with two hours of reading instruction, lunch then afternoon activities designed to build personal confidence and cooperative team skills.

Student Intern, Stephen, provides assistance to the instructors and students along with what he calls peer motivation. He first came to this program to add to his Community Service Hours. He has come to see that not being able to read well does not mean that the students he is working with are not smart. Reading Camp participants report that they attend Camp to get more help with reading, to stay out of trouble, at the urging of a family member and respect for the Camp instructors.

Instructors and students alike are looking forward to a trip to Sapelo Island as the culminating activity of Reading Camp 2008. The students will see a part of Georgia new to them and explore the history, literature and culture of the island.

Additional funding for this project was provided by the Grady High School Foundation, the Grady High School PTSA, Walmart and Wolverine World Wide, Inc.

Reading Camp's
most important resource are the young people who have the courage and make the commitment to become better readers.

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