While summer is typically a time for kids to play outdoors, students at Jamboree properties took on a reading challenge in their community learning centers. In fact, 101 students at 11 communities across Orange County participated in the Encourage Reading summer literacy program, reading between two and five times a week for 20-30 minutes. Each community center also included an additional assignment to demonstrate the students’ reading comprehension.
Students at Bonterra Apartment Homes wrote a book review after each reading session. The daily entry included a discussion of the characters, plot, setting, and a prediction of what would happen next. Kids in kindergarten through second grade completed their book reviews in simple sentences and drew pictures. At Rockwood Apartment Homes, the students’ assignment was to fill out a flow chart every day after the reading session, where they wrote about the plot and analyzed how the previous day’s story line had led to it. Discussion about this analysis helped students learn cause and effect and sequence of events.
The students at Granite Court chose a topic they knew nothing about, then looked it up and read about it. Over the summer, they learned how to research topics on the computer and analyze the information they found. The Resident Service Coordinator at Clark Commons practiced sight words with each student, with four levels of difficulty. As they mastered each level, they moved to the next one, increasing their ability to recognize words.
Over the course of the summer, the Resident Service Coordinators saw remarkable reading improvement in their students. At Birch Hills, students became so accustomed to the routine of reading every day that several students continued even after reading time was over. The students at Park Landing gathered into groups to read even before reading time began.
One success story was with one of the youngest participants at Rockwood Apartment Homes. Alyssa was able to recognize and sound out most of the words in the books she picked. Towards the end of the Encourage Reading summer program, she was so confident in her reading ability that she no longer asked for help with each word.
As a reward for all this hard work, students who participated in the Encourage Reading summer literacy program and completed their assignments were rewarded with a field trip to the San Diego Zoo. At the end of the Encourage Reading summer literacy program, 101 students read 60,000 minutes and completed a total of 310 books!
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