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LitWorld and Scholastic Reinvent Summer School as LitCamp™ to Help Kids Avoid the Summer Slide

June 15, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The innovative summer reading program LitCamp is launching in more than 1,000 U.S. classrooms

NEW YORK – June 15, 2016 –
LitCampTM, a groundbreaking summer reading program created by the literacy-focused nonprofit LitWorld, is launching this summer in more than 1,000 K–6 classrooms across the United States after a successful pilot season last year. Developed and published by Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, the innovative program combines research-based reading and writing lessons with an interactive summer camp approach. LitCamp engages students through the use of personal narrative, active learning through play, and resilience-building activities, redefining the whole notion of summer school for districts large and small, from New York to California. 

Learn about LitCamp here: www.scholastic.com/litcamp

“We are reinventing literacy learning by starting with values such as courage, belonging, and confidence, finding that deeper level of engagement by elevating the students’ own stories and surrounding them with the joy and exuberance of literacy,” said Pam Allyn, LitWorld’s Executive Director. “LitCamp brings text to life, providing children with a more robust literacy experience through all of its modes—reading, writing, storytelling, singing and acting, proper grammar, rich vocabulary, and critical thinking.”

LitCamp is adaptable to summer reading initiatives because it includes easy-to-implement, standards-aligned literacy lessons, high-quality fiction and nonfiction literature, engaging group activities, and dedicated time for independent reading. In New York City, LitCamps will create a supportive, summer literacy community and cultivate social-emotional development for students as one part of the Department of Education’s “Summer in the City” initiative, a brand-new approach to summer school for grades 2–12, which combines new curriculum, college-level and STEM-oriented enrichment programming, and educational visits to local cultural institutions.

“By bringing LitCamps to more children, we’re increasing access to books and opportunities to enhance skills instead of risking their loss while school is out of session—two critical elements of supporting student growth,” noted Michael Haggen, Chief Academic Officer, Scholastic Education. “The overwhelmingly positive response from districts that have chosen LitCamp shows us there is tremendous energy behind rethinking how to engage students in summer reading with the combination of academics and the equally important social emotional skills  that build perseverance, increase motivation, and support students for long term success.”

LitCamp is specifically designed to close the achievement gap and reduce the loss of academic skills while school is out of session—commonly referred to as the summer slide. Research has shown:

  • By the end of 6th grade, children who lose reading skills over the summer will be two years behind their classmates. (Cooper et al.)
  • In just one summer, children can lose an average of two months of reading achievement. (Colker, JL)
  • More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. (Alexander et al.)

“Children who have access to reading materials over the summer have an enormous advantage over those who don’t and when kids read as a group, they understand books at a higher level,” said Allyn. “The goal of LitCamp is to celebrate and help children in all communities so they gain the same independence, economic freedom, and fulfilling life through literacy as their wealthier peers while providing them with a greater sense of themselves—instilling greater confidence and fostering a greater sense of community.”

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About LitWorld:

LitWorld is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization empowering young people to author lives of independence through quality literacy learning experiences. Founded by renowned author and literacy expert Pam Allyn, LitWorld creates global change by increasing literacy rates across the United States and worldwide in 25 countries. With over 750 million people in the world who cannot read, LitWorld plays an important and pivotal role in advocating for children’s rights as readers. Serving children living in challenging environments, the LitWorld best practices for reading, writing and storytelling are replicated across the world. For more information, visit www.litworld.org/litcampsandlitclubs

For more about Scholastic, visit http://mediaroom.scholastic.com.


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