Wednesday, July 10, 2013

North Mabee kids keep up their reading skills

Miss Trice reads during story time!

Even at Summer Camp, Salvation Army Boys &Girls Club helps kids with school 

It’s not easy to keep a group of kids still and attentive for 45 minutes when they are ages five to seven. But Latrice Fowlkes, director of The Salvation Army North Mabee Boys & Girls Club can do it and I enjoyed watching her work her magic one day last week. She read a book about lightning out loud to 25 members of Summer Day Camp at the Club. The book appeared to be at about a fifth-grade reading level, yet the kids listened intently and asked pertinent questions. It helped that the children respect “Miss Trice” and that she encouraged the kids to tell about their own experiences with lightning.

"Don't bother me, I'm reading!"
The story time is just one program Latrice uses in North Mabee’s Summer Day Camp to help prevent the “summer slide,” the new term for summer learning loss. Latrice has her own three children enrolled in the Club and she doesn’t want them to forget any knowledge or skills they attained during the school year, and she knows other parents are concerned about it too. Summer Day Camp enrollment is at capacity and attendance averages about 65 kids a day.

The North Mabee Boys & Girls Club partners with the Tulsa City County Library's Summer Reading Program, so every other week the library's Bookmobile parks in front of the Club and kids older than seven are able to select the books they're interested in. Every day all the kids have a forty minute reading time. I got a kick out of the girl in the photo above who is so interested in her book that the boy is going to have to "talk to the hand" until she's done!

In addition to reading time, the day campers spend 30 to 40 minutes each day in the computer room. They're required to use a learning program called "Kids College" for 15 minutes before they're allowed to browse the Internet. Of course, North Mabee, like all our Club's Summer Day Camps, offers all the traditional  fun activities for campers such as swimming, playing in the gym and field trips. Older North Mabee kids also get to enjoy photography, which professional photographer Turner Goodrum volunteer teaches year round. And, campers can stay over some evenings to take advantage of ballet and music lessons  the Club offers for a little extra.

I imagine there are some kids who will look back on their summer camp experience and fondly remember that their favorite activity was Miss Trice's story time. I know I would!


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