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Reading finds a place at camp

August 20, 2012 3:21:39 PM PDT
You would expect kids at a sleepaway camp to play or even do rope climbing, but group reading?

New Jersey's Vacamas Summer Camp has adopted an initiative called Explore 30 from the American Camping Association. It calls for at least 30 minutes of daily reading at sleepaway camps.

"My favorite types of books are mysteries or adventures and sometimes, just sometimes maybe, I like reading kids' books from the past to my little brothers," camper Vanesa Argueta said.

Now you might think that at a sleepaway camp, there wouldn't be much time for anything academic, but the issue of what's come to be known as summer learning loss has changed everything, and these kids don't seem to mind reading books at camp.

"So it's good to read and it's good to do things you would do at school, so when September comes, you're not lost," camper Eloisa Mateo said.

The books are provided by the Scholastic Publishing Company.

"Scholastic has been building programs that are focused on family and community engagement, working beyond the school day to insure that kids have access to what they read over the summer, particularly to continue to learn and grow," Greg Worrell of Scholastic said.

Researchers say kids who have no access to home libraries or to adults who read with them are especially at risk for learning loss.

"I think what the American Camping Association has started with the Explore 30 program has made camps aware that they have the ability to make a difference," camp director Sandy Friedman said.

For more information about Explore 30, please visit the American Camping Association.

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