Wood County students read, explore in Summer Literary Camp

Photo by Michael Erb Ayden Lynch, who will be in the second grade this fall, reads by flashlight in a darkened tent Thursday on the auditorium stage at Madison Elementary School as part of Wood County Schools annual Summer Literary Camp.

PARKERSBURG — Wood County Schools is bringing the wilderness indoors for students this summer as part of the annual Summer Literary Camp reading program.

Wood County Schools Curriculum Coordinator Ashlee Beatty said the program at Madison Elementary School averages 115 students a day and is open to students from all Wood County elementary schools. The program, which runs through July 2, seeks to help students retain their reading skills during the summer break.

“On average, a student loses three months off their reading level over the summer,” Beatty said. “The goal of the camp is to prevent that ‘summer slide’ while still having fun.”

The students participate in a variety of reading and art activities, including reading by flashlight in tents and while white-water rafting on a bed of blue lights. Sections of the school are renamed and rethemed, with students getting free breakfast and lunch in the “Mess Hall” and occasional breaks to visit the “Latrines.”

The Parkersburg-Wood County Public Library also brings the bookmobile to the school every Wednesday, Beatty said, giving students the chance to check out and exchange books.

Photo by Michael Erb Rising second-grader Addison Mullins, left, points out a surprising fact to teacher Cassie Herrick, right, during Wood County Schools annual Summer Literary Camp at Madison Elementary School.

Beatty said the camp includes 11 classrooms and two reading interventionists who work with small groups of students. The Literary Camp will hold a celebration during its last week, with Wood County Schools Superintendent Will Hosaflook visiting as a guest reader and a large picnic for the students.

Photo by Michael Erb Rising second-grader Beretta Spurrier colors a class art project Thursday during Wood County Schools annual Summer Literary Camp at Madison Elementary School.

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