Jamestown Public Schools To Expand Summer LitCamp Program

Jamestown Public School students attending LitCamp at Ring Elementary School last summer. Jamestown School plans to open additional LitCamp sites this summer and the Jamestown PROMISE Fund is asking the community for donations to purchase additional curriculum.

Last year, Jamestown Public Schools successfully piloted a new, research-based summer program at Ring Elementary School for first through third graders called Scholastic LitCamp.

In order to serve more Jamestown elementary school students, the district will be expanding LitCamp to additional sites this summer. The Jamestown PROMISE Fund provided the curriculum for last summer’s LitCamp and is asking for the community’s help to raise money to purchase additional Scholastic LitCamp curriculum for new sites.

JPS LitCamps address the concern that a significant number of JPS students are having trouble reading at a third grade level at the end of the third grade year. Although they do make progress during the school year, they may inevitably succumb to the summer slide that takes place in July and August when students miss out on the learning resources found in the Jamestown Schools.

“The summer LitCamp program targeted students entering first through third grades who needed to improve their literacy skills,” said Tina Sandstrom, Jamestown Public Schools director of schools. “On average, the students made gains in five weeks that they typically would be expected to gain in a 10-week period of time during the school year. This acceleration of growth during the summer is noteworthy as summer break can oftentimes result in learning loss for some students. To have a group of readers make substantial gains over the summer in their reading is highly encouraging and cause for celebration. We saw very good growth in literacy for the students who participated in the intensive summer LitCamp in just five weeks.”

The objectives of the Scholastic LitCamps are to:

¯ Help students read at a third grade level by the completion of third grade;

¯ Provide a nurturing and secure environment for students, allowing them to grow their social skills and develop friendships, while improving reading proficiency;

¯ Help prevent the summer slide that so many students experience; and

¯ Give students the tools to excel in their scholastic and social/emotional environments.

“By helping to provide LitCamp curriculum, the PROMISE Fund is committed to assisting with the growth of LitCamp to other elementary school locations within the school district given the demonstrated success of LitCamp,” said Dr. Lillian Vitanza Ney, PROMISE Fund Advisory Board president.