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Kids and adults crack books at YMCA summer camps

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/24/15/08/rhokn.Em.138.jpeg|316
    T. Ortega Gaines - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com
    Six-year old Esmeralda Diaz plays a sight word lotto game similar to bingo, as she learns to recognize and spell words In the literacy center while attending the Y Reader program at Highland Renaissance Academy. Y Readers, a nationally recognized free summer reading program sponsored by the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, began Tuesday, June 24,2014, with more than 500 K-3 students who aren't reading at grade level. The Y employs certified teachers and teacher assistants to combine literacy education and fun enrichment activities to improve academic skills during the summer months when students typically fall behind. In its 16th summer, the program serves students at sites in Mecklenburg, Lincoln and Iredell counties.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/24/15/08/G04Yt.Em.138.jpeg|209
    T. Ortega Gaines - ogaines@charlotteobserver
    Jasmine Martinez, 7, corrects an error in a sentence on the easel board, as Highland Renaissance Academy kindergarten teacher Letisha Steele instructs students in the process of writing a sentence while attending the Y Reader summer program at Highland Renaissance. Y Readers, a nationally recognized free summer reading program sponsored by the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, began Tuesday, June 24,2014, with more than 500 K-3 students who aren't reading at grade level. The Y employs certified teachers and teacher assistants to combine literacy education and fun enrichment activities to improve academic skills during the summer months when students typically fall behind. In its 16th summer ,the program serves students at sites in Mecklenburg, Lincoln and Iredell counties.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/24/15/09/1p1wuj.Em.138.jpeg|209
    T. Ortega Gaines - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com
    Demetrus McDaniel, a Highland Renaissance Academyl fifth-grade teacher, instructs, from left, Zachariah Beard, 8, , K'Shawn Corbin 8, and Jorge Rufino, 8, in how to do their reading assignment. Y Readers, a nationally recognized free summer reading program sponsored by the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, began Tuesday, June 24, 2014, with more than 500 K-3 students who aren't reading at grade level. The Y employs certified teachers and teacher assistants to combine literacy education and fun enrichment activities to improve academic skills during the summer months when students typically fall behind. In its 16th summer, the program serves students at sites in Mecklenburg, Lincoln and Iredell counties.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/24/15/09/BpoI1.Em.138.jpeg|414
    T. Ortega Gaines - ogaines@charlotteobserver
    K'shawn Corbin, 8, a rising third-grader, reads with his fellow classmates while attending the Y Readers summer program at Highland Renaissance Academy. Y Readers, a nationally recognized free summer reading program sponsored by the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, began Tuesday, June 24,2014, with more than 500 K-3 students who aren't reading at grade level. The Y employs certified teachers and teacher assistants to combine literacy education and fun enrichment activities to improve academic skills during the summer months when students typically fall behind. In its 16th summer, the program serves students at sites in Mecklenburg, Lincoln and Iredell counties.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/24/15/08/xGyrH.Em.138.jpeg|404
    T. Ortega Gaines - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com
    Eugene Blackman, 6, a rising first-grader, air writes the letter "T," as he and his fellow classmates learn the pronunciation of words while attending the Y Reader program at Highland Renaissance Academy. Y Readers, a nationally recognized free summer reading program sponsored by the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, began Tuesday, June 24, 2014, with more than 500 K-3 students who aren't reading at grade level. The Y employs certified teachers and teacher assistants to combine literacy education and fun enrichment activities to improve academic skills during the summer months when students typically fall behind. In its 16th summer, the program serves students at sites in Mecklenburg, Lincoln and Iredell counties.

More than 500 children and dozens of adult volunteers are delving into reading this week as the Y Readers program opens in Mecklenburg, Lincoln and Iredell counties.

The program, run by the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, provides free six-week summer reading camps to rising first- to third-graders at risk of falling behind in reading. It’s separate from the state-mandated Read to Achieve summer programs for third-graders who failed state reading exams.

Community volunteers at 10 Y Reader sites help with reading and writing exercises, which are interspersed with field trips and summer camp activities.

The goal is to prevent children from slipping further behind during summer break. YMCA officials say that for the last eight summers, the vast majority of participants have maintained or advanced on reading skills.

“Studies show that if a child from a low-income family can’t read by third grade, they are 13 times more likely to drop out,” YMCA official Amanda Wilkinson said in a press statement. “Most of our Y Readers participants come from economically disadvantaged families and need extra support with literacy.”

Helms: 704-358-5033; Twitter: @anndosshelms
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