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Third graders participate in summer reading program
summer reading camp
Third-grade students from the eleven elementary schools in Kershaw County attended Kershaw County School Districts first summer reading program. - photo by Provided by Donna Farnum

Third graders from around Kershaw County recently completed the county’s first summer reading program. Students came to Jackson School for six weeks for classes that helped them  improve their reading skills.

“This is the district’s first summer reading camp program for third graders who need a little bit more help with their reading during the summer. We want to make sure that the gains they made during the school year don’t dissipate before the upcoming school year starts,” Program Coordinator and Kershaw County School District Executive Director for Instruction Tim Hopkins said.

“I was so happy and so proud of them,” Hopkins said of the participating students.

Pine Tree Elementary school teacher Joy Smith, Baron DeKalb Elementary teacher Donna Farnum and West Lee Elementary teacher Patricia Dixon taught students during the program. MAP scores from the spring semester were used as a benchmark to determine students’ current reading levels. Students worked with the teachers on reading, writing and research skills.

Bus transportation was provided by the district and the United Way of Kershaw County provided breakfast and lunch for students.

“We were also able to bring in speakers to talk to students about nutrition and other things that would help keep their brain cells active and going,” Hopkins said.

Parents were invited to Jackson School the final day of the program to recognize students’ achievements.

“We want to share the things we’ve done this summer. We’ve had a great time, the kids have been wonderful and we are proud of their progress and how hard they have worked,” Farnum said during the closing ceremony.

Students in the program will be able to continue practicing their reading until school starts in August.

“Each student was given 27 books to put into their libraries at home. They can share those with their younger siblings and have story time with their families. We used some of them in class so that the children could reread them and be able to make a connection,” Smith said.

Hopkins also hopes students will continue to build their reading skills at home.

“When they start reading at home they will be able to read more independently with their parent’s help as it is necessary,” Hopkins said.

Teachers enjoyed being involved in the program and helping students improve their reading skills and MAP scores.

“We had never worked together before but it was so fantastic. We all just worked well together and the scores that we got back, those are gains for a whole school year,” Smith said.

“Kudos to the kids, they worked so hard and were eager and motivated.”