Summer Reading Camps Provide Additional Instruction for Students with Severe Reading Difficulties

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Education and school districts across the state are gearing up to provide additional support and time on task for struggling third grade readers through Read to Succeed Summer Reading Camps. Reading camps serve students with severe reading difficulties by providing them with the necessary skills to become successful lifelong readers.

During the summer reading camps, students are taught by highly qualified teachers who have experience working with students with severe reading difficulties to improve their reading, writing and critical thinking skills. Students will have the opportunity to receive small group and individual instruction to meet their specific reading needs.

“Our students deserve every opportunity to strengthen their reading skills to ensure a successful future,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “We encourage all families of third-grade students having severe reading difficulties to contact your district to find out more about the literacy supports that will be provided at summer reading camps.”

A person’s ability to read is a critical predictor of educational and lifelong success. A strong reading program, like Read to Succeed, beginning in kindergarten and continuing into the third grade and beyond, gives students the best possible chance to maximize their education and lifelong success. Beginning in fourth grade, a student must be prepared to comprehend facts in social studies and science, understand word problems in math, and interpret complex materials in language arts.

Results from South Carolina’s statewide assessment, SC READY, show that only 44 percent of third graders met or exceeded standards in English Language Arts, which includes reading, in 2016. Like other states, South Carolina recognized the need to combat alarming statistical trends that are associated with the inability to read by the end of third grade, including increased drop-out rates and fewer employment opportunities.

The Read to Succeed Act is a strong initiative that focuses on mastery of reading skills before students advance to fourth grade. The Act requires each district to develop a comprehensive annual reading proficiency plan for Pre-K to 12th grade students, establishes student reading intervention programs as early as Kindergarten, and mandates all initially licensed K-12 teachers to complete additional training to receive a Read to Succeed endorsement. Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, third grade students who are not reading on grade level may be retained. Retention can provide students with severe reading difficulties the additional time they need to gain the necessary reading skills to be successful in fourth grade and beyond.

For additional information on Summer Reading Camps, please visit http://ed.sc.gov/summer-reading-camps/