Importance of Reading by Ruby Barrios and Alma Nunez
Every day during the summer program, the campers participate in half a day of academics. This includes a 45 minute period of reading. In every reading class there are at the most two teams, and each team has about 15 girls. The girls are then split into smaller reading groups among the counselors and JC’s. The counselors in the reading room make sure that they have created a safe learning environment for their campers. Usually there are fun hands-on activities paired with the readings. These are completed before, after, or during the oral reading of the group’s selected book. If someone isn’t doing their work the JC will make sure she helps the girls who may be struggling. Smaller groups allow students to read aloud more frequently and have more one-on-one attention with their teacher.
When my group of girls and I are done with a chapter, we go around the circle and state what just happened in our own words. We talk about likes, dislikes, the difference between fact and opinion, and more. I also ask each girl what they thought the chapter meant and how it contributes to the overall story. Reviewing the story and providing answers to all of the camper’s questions is made possibly with small group sizes.
Reading in smaller groups helps the girls focus on the book. It also allows them to read aloud, to practice their fluency, and to participate in comprehension discussions. Comprehension is a necessary skill that is difficult for the students at times. It is one thing we are really focusing on improving at Summit. Apart from working on fluency and comprehension, our reading classes also help instill a love of reading in a way that reaches beyond school hours.
Personally, Summit has expanded both of our reading interests and preferred genres. It has given us practice and experience in understanding and analyzing books. We know that one day the campers will also be grateful for Summit’s reading classes.