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August 8, 2018

Summer Joy through Reading

It was a real treat to visit the same group of camps every week for the entire summer. Some camps were so busy that I just checked in, said hello, got a few pictures and moved on. But at other camps, I was greeted by campers who couldn’t wait to share what they had worked on all week.

One such camp was the Franz Ross Sky YMCA Kiddie Kollege. These children were among the youngest campers in the entire Suncoast Summer Book Challenge. They were a small, tight-knit group led by Miss Sarai. It seemed like no matter what time or day I visited, they were reading! Reading to themselves, reading to each other, or being read to by their counselor.

During my most recent visit, they had just finished reading Plant A Rainbow. Each camper was dressed in a color of the rainbow, and they lined up in “rainbow order” to take me outside and get a look at the cool garden they planted. Each one proudly told me about their color and what role they played in planting the garden. After our garden visit, we paraded back inside to finish preparing for the Summer Learning Day Party that parents would be attending at the end of the day.

What impressed me most about this camp was how they worked together as a group, which is in good part thanks to their inspirational leader, Miss Sarai, who—one could tell—cared for each of the campers individually.

Thank you, Frank Ross Sky YMCA Kiddie Kollege and Miss Sarai for sharing your love for reading with your students and all your activities with the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

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