Twenty-seven busy Kindergarten – 3rd graders spent three days exploring reading, writing and outdoor fun at One Stone’s first Open Book Adventures Camp! The camp is another iteration of the after school reading and literacy camps One Stone has hosted during the school.
The camp was created in part to address summer reading loss, or (“summer slide”) a significant problem facing Idaho’s children. The Idaho State Department of Education reports that while middle and upper income children’s reading skills improve over the summer, lower income students decline. This has significant impact on low-income children, putting them at serious disadvantage. Data from a 2013 study by Idaho Kids Count on reading proficiency and summer slide in Idaho show that low-income children who do not have access to summer enrichment programs lose two to three months of reading comprehension skills every summer. By the end of the fifth grade, they are almost three years behind their middle-income peers.
Multiple strategies have been recommended to address this, among them, the creation of partnership with community serving organizations that can increase students’ access to reading and books. The Open Book Adventures Summer Camp served as this kind of summer reading enrichment program. And thanks to the support of the Whittenberger Foundation and Boise Sunrise Rotary, a no-cost option, leveling the playing field for Treasure Valley kids.
During the three day camp, little campers were paired with a One Stone adventure guide, for reading and writing adventures that included reading by flashlight, journaling in a giant fort, the finer points of S’mores, and camp songs by an indoor tissue paper fire that glowed in their imaginations. Campers also took field trips to Camel’s Back Park and the MK Nature Center where they explored nature right in their own back yard.
What did the little campers like best?
“Reading, writing, and roughin’ it!”
“Going to the different places and exploring. Reading in the fort.”
“We got to go on field trips and play with our buddies at the park and see frogs and snakes and fish and squirrels.”
Parents also shared their enthusiasm for the camp. One mom shared,
“Every night he came home talking about the day. He had fun learning and wanted to share his experiences. He was very excited and loved Aurora! Bobby wants to come back next year; it’s such a positive program. You welcomed him with open arms.”
And the long term impact?
“He asked over and over Can I go again?” explained one parent. “He sees it as fun and not continued education, but when school starts up again he will be ahead.”