Forty-one students are working to keep their reading, writing, and study skills sharp by continuing their learning in Cluster’s Summer Reading Program.
The focus of the program is to help students improve reading skills in fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. It also is encouraging students to develop a love of reading.
The students are in grades kindergarten through 6th grade. They are divided into four groups by age and grade level of approximately 10 students each. One teacher and one student program aide run each group.
The structured classes are divided into several segments, depending on grade level. In classes for younger students, students read aloud as well as working with teachers and aides individually. Teachers also spend some time reading aloud.
Older students go deeper into learning how to get more out of reading material by predicting and by drawing inferences from the text.
Students also receive “homework” in the form of reading. Instead of any written assignments, at the next class session, students will report on what they have read at home.
The teachers are trained teachers, often teaching in a school in a nearby community, and some have taught at the summer program in past years. Two of the student aides, Aliyah and A’meena, are veterans, having helped out in past summers. The other two aides, Camille and A’meera, and new this year.
Last summer was A’meena’s first year as a teenage assistant. She said she also had a lot of fun with the students, but she was surprised that she was learning along with them.
“It was a good review,” she said. “I was learning more, refreshing what I knew about vocabulary.”
Cluster’s Summer Reading Program runs for six weeks, two nights a week, for nearly two hours a night. Students start with a snack before breaking up into their small groups. Everyone will have the week of July 4 off, then they will continue until early August.
That will give students another month before schools starts, so they can keep practicing their reading skills and further avoid the “summer slump.”