Striders, St. Luke’s Collaborate For Reading Camp

The Children of the Book Reading Camp will begin its fifth summer serving children and families in the Jamestown area with new energy, brought about by St. Luke’s ongoing collaboration with Chautauqua Striders.

St. Luke’s has recently announced that the Directors of this year’s camp will be Chautauqua Striders Mentoring Coordinator Richard Walter, and Elizabeth Cosme, Bi-lingual Life Skills Educator.

Walter has been working with St. Luke’s throughout his first year with Striders through the Project Based Mentoring program at Love School, which St. Luke’s helped to create in 2018, empowering its parishioners who has participated in the program for the last few years, have been matched with student mentees throughout the school year. Ms. Cosme brings her experience with bi-lingual students and determination to be a positive force in the community to the table as she prepares for her new role as COTB Director.

“I have been fortunate to have worked with a number of individuals who believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself, and who encouraged me to pursue my passions and to do work that is both personally and professionally rewarding.” she said. “As a new director of Children of the Book Camp , I have a unique opportunity to do the same for students and their families – to support them in doing the type of work that they are most passionate about and the types of work that are critical to promoting the educational and life success of children, youth, and adults. I can’t think of anything more exciting.”

Walter invites community members to become involved in the program as volunteer partner readers. Partner readers volunteer for 40 minutes in the morning to read one-on-one with a child.

Readers are welcome to come for a day, a week, or the entire four weeks of the program-although committing for a week is most preferable. Local businesses are also encouraged to assign employees to share a week or more as a service to the community.

The new directors are hoping to develop relationships with potential new mentors who might be interested in assisting with the Chautauqua Striders newly re-imagined “Love at the Library” mentoring program, which will begin in the fall at the James Prendergast Library. This new and expanded offering will give participants wider access to resources in a more central community space.

“The Children of the Book Partner Reader is a wonderful opportunity for potential mentors to see if they enjoy this type of thing, and hopefully join us in the fall if they do.” Walter said.

Community Volunteers are also needed to assist with food preparation and clean-up, as guest speakers and as teachers to assist and prepare programs for each of the themed weeks of the camp.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is located at 410 N. Main St., Jamestown. To register a child for the COTB program or to find out more about volunteer opportunities, please call the church office at 483-6405.