How might we help reverse the ‘summer slide’ in literacy skills of underserved 1st-3rd graders?
Open Book Adventures is One Stone’s free literacy mentoring program for underserved youth across the Treasure Valley. During this summer’s second iteration of the project’s summer camp, thirty-five 1st–3rd grade “Buddies” were paired with One Stone student “Adventure Guides” for three full days of reading, writing, games, crafts and connection.
One Stone students practiced leadership and problem-solving skills while younger Buddies developed their love for reading, writing and creativity–an experience that formed enduring bonds and everlasting memories between Guide and Buddy.
The theme of this session was Open Book Adventures: Camping and the Great Outdoors. Buddies and their Guides read books together outside in camp chairs, under glow-in-the-dark stars with flashlights as well as inside a giant pillow and blanket fort.
The enthusiastic group of Guides and Buddies took daily field trips including Ann Morrison Park, Boise Urban Garden School and the MK Nature Center to learn more about the outdoors, plants and wildlife–inspiring Buddies to write stories, songs and skits about their adventures in nature. Buddies had the opportunity to explore the parks, walk through gardens, catch a glimpse of different animals and share aloud their favorite stories written about their time at camp.
Camp concluded with a celebration of all the Buddies’ hard work–enjoying gooey s’mores and singing songs around the campfire. Each Buddy received a new book and a heartfelt letter from their Guide celebrating their accomplishments and progress during the week.
30% increase in those who felt “a lot” or “completely” confident in their ability to read.
83% increase in those who felt “a lot” or “completely” confident in their ability to write neatly.
62% increase in those who felt “a lot” or “completely” confident in their ability to read out loud.
There was also an increase in those who felt confident in their ability to “make new friends.”
In the Guides’ own words:
“This camp impacted my leadership skills by helping me improve in understanding kids’ wants.”
“Now I am much better at staying calm during hectic times.”
“I feel more comfortable with children.”
“It helped me learn how to lead in a larger group.”
“My daughter really loved every minute of camp- especially all the crafts. She adored her leader and felt very comfortable around her. It was fabulous, and we would LOVE to do it again next year!!”
“My children loved reading in the blanket fort and singing camp songs- especially Baby Shark!”