United WE READ’s Camp Read to Lead is currently in operation for a 3rd summer of growth, is funded by a partnership between Ballad Health Foundation and United Way of Greater Kingsport, and is hosted by Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kingsport and Bloomingdale Baptist Church! Our 2019 theme is “Super Reader, Super Self!” focusing on each child’s unique talents and strengths–including being great young readers!
Modeled around the successful statewide initiative, “Read to Be Ready,” United WE READ’s program seeks out students who were behind grade-level assessment in reading ability at the end of the spring semester. The program is structured for teachers to work in a close 5:1 ratio with students for two and a half hours per day over one month, and United WE READ uses the same pre and post-program assessment tools as the state initiative. Each rising 1st and 2nd grade student has an opportunity to gain a love for reading, confidence, improve literacy abilities, build a personal library of 10-20 new books and other school supplies, and participate in weekly field-trips offering practical, real-world experiences.
In 2018, students showed, on average, a +16.5% gain in accuracy and comprehension over the four week program, and a +5.5% gain in areas such as motivation, value for reading, and self-concept as a reader (All assessments based on Read to Be Ready standardized questionnaire and passages). Additionally, 100% of regular attenders maintained or improved reading levels, achieving our goal to reduce the “summer slide” where students can fall behind during summer months. While we wait for this year’s exciting results, our students had some ideas on how adults can continue to help them: “Read to us.” “Read with us.” and “Listen to us read.”