Nearly 200 students in a summer program are experiencing all of the wonders you would expect from a regular camping experience - animals, nature and discovery.
The difference is this camp takes children across the entire planet and finds
its wonders between the pages of books.
The students are participating in the district's Camp Literacy - a
state-recognized program that provides students five weeks and more than 60
hours of instruction in all things language arts.
Melissa Labadie, a UCS literacy coach, said the 178 students in the camp come
with a wide variety of reading backgrounds but they all share a common goal -
have fun and stay sharp during the summer.
"We have students who need reinforcement and we have students who are
accelerated readers and want to continue that growth," she said.
The K-6 UCS students work with a certified teacher at their grade level.
Students are involved in activities that develop their skills in reading,
writing, spelling and word recognition. They carry a kit that allows them to
take books home every night to share with their parents.
Students enrolled in the program take pre- and post-camp tests to chart the
growth of their language arts skills. While they may be important to their
parents, the students in camp enjoy just having fun with books.
Camp Literacy is currently being held mornings at Havel Elementary through
The program, which is offered annually to students exiting kindergarten
through sixth grade, has been honored by the Michigan Associations of School
Boards for its success in improving student literacy.