Announcing the Project Summer contest winners!

April 28, 2014

Project Summer

After reviewing all the wonderful submissions, we chose the following top 3 Project Summer contest winners:

• Ashley, South Carolina
• Elam, New York City
• Kimolyn, Florida

Scroll down to see their summer reading plans.

We would like to thank all the participants for their great summer reading plans and ideas.

Click here to learn more about the My Books Summer program.

* * * Ashley’s plan * * *

St. James Elementary is a rural school located in McClellanville, South Carolina.  The school houses Early Head Start, Head Start, a CD program and Kindergarten through sixth grade.  The school is the "hub" of the community.  The St. James Kaleidoscope EPIC camp is a series of half day academic based summer camps being offered through Charleston County School District’s Kaleidoscope Program in partnerships with PCG Education’s Educational Partnerships Team. This four day camp features fun academic activities from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and is conducted by certified teachers. There is a one-time $15 registration fee to enroll in the half day camp and all students will receive breakfast, a mid-morning snack and lunch. Students will participate in Science/STEM, Reading, Math, Writing, and Team Building activities during the camp. A "Summer Literacy Kickoff" will be held on Friday, May 30th. The fair is being held in conjunction with the school's May Day celebration.

Parents and families will be able to choose new and gently used books to build their home libraries.  All books are free to the attendees. The Regional Library representatives will be on-site to assist families in signing up for library cards, the book mobile will be on-site for families to check out books and learn about the new E-books program. Information on the summer reading program sponsored through the local library will be distributed to families. Local businesses and community organizations will have booths set up around the school with literacy based activities throughout the day.  Begin With Books will be on-site to register families with children from 0 to 5 years old for their program. Schools and churches throughout the community will conduct book drives. The Methodist Church's  "Mission for Methodist" is to collect a million books this year.  We will be partnering with the local Methodist church to collect books.  This will help the congregations meet their goals and assist the school with our goal of having books to distribute to families. The St. James Santee Literacy Fair committee consists of members from the Girl Scouts, the School Improvement Team, the Community Education Program, Begin with Books, the Community Outreach Department, local churches and St. James Elementary parents and staff who are assisting with the 1st St. James Santee Literacy Fair! Ashley, South Carolina

* * * Elam’s plan * * *

Operation Exodus Inner City works with 300 Latino youth in the Bronx and Manhattan. This summer at Operation Exodus we are conducting a summer literacy camp called a Storyteller’s Adventure for six weeks.  Each week is themed after a different literary genre: biography, historical fiction, research, mystery, sci-fi, and fables.  The children will read literature and complete writing and other projects within each genre.  In addition, each Wednesday, the children will take a field trip in New York City, which will contribute to the project they are working on with their class.  Key points from each genre will be taught in whole-group assemblies, while the books and projects for each class will be based on grade.  We choose research as a genre in response to the Common Core Standards.

Our parent coordinator speaks with every family in our program once a month.  80% of parents attend parent meetings each month.  She coaches them, in Spanish, on how to read with their children and distributes hundreds of books to build each family’s mini-library. We plan to have a read aloud at a local bookstore and several library visits.  Every child will receive a new book to take home with them for each genre, and parents will come in to see the children present their writings and projects.  Our tutors are all hired from the local community and most are Latino.

Each morning tutors guide students through two-and-a-half hours of instruction time.  This includes whole class read aloud, small group projects and individual reading time.  Students who are two or more years behind in reading will be paired with volunteers to read with them one-on-one.  We pick literature with mostly minority protagonists. Our children also engage through creative classes each afternoon, themed by genre.  This could be painting, choreographing a dance, or planning a skit.  These times are aligned with classwork and give our students with different abilities the opportunity to engage with the academic material.

We ensure innovation by allowing choice at every level of learning. Students read one story as a whole class, but we hope to have a wide selection from them to choose from within each genre.  Our tutors are given books and suggested lessons, but are free to plan projects based on their class interest. In the same way, our volunteer groups are given the genre for creative class, but they plan activities based on the strengths of their group.  This allows volunteers to introduce elements of their hobbies and professions into creative time. The overall genre provides a structure and theme to the week, with all students mastering key elements, but also provides flexibility for each grade.  An academic coordinator works with tutors to prepare reading times and projects. Our volunteer coordinator brings in volunteers to strengthen lesson and creative times.  Our tutors would so benefit from Scholastic books sets in our classrooms. Join us in launching our 300 Latino children to college and lives of excellence! Elam, New York City

* * * Kimolyn’s plan * * *

Dare to Dream Young Girls Network’s Summer Reading Program will foster a "love" for reading in our "READY TO READ" Circle for Girls. In partnership with local librarians in the community, the 2014 reading program invites girls: 5 to 16 years old to become more fluent readers, joining in the partnership, local authors will volunteers and share their time in leading the Summer Book Club Program. (Writing workshops will be offered as a "Fun Friday" event. Each participant will attend small group reading sessions by grade, 4 times per week. Each book read will be donated to the individual participant. Dare to Dream Young Girls will help to start the readers’ own personal library. (A first for many.) By the end of summer, each participant will get to own (22) books (Those assigned by the local school districts and those presented by our program). By the start of school, each reader would have read more books than the average reader all Summer long. Also participants would have been mentored by the very people who facilitate reading in their schools and by those who will inspire them to become better readers and writers. Depending on weather, the participants will take upon fieldtrips to various parks and picnic under an aged tree to symbolize a spot of significance for the group. In the future those parks will form a memory of their summer and what they did in their reading club. Kimolyn, Florida

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