Summer Reading Camps Offer New Hope for Retained Students

In Leon County, hundreds of third graders are in danger of not making it to the fourth grade. The kids didn't pass the FCAT, but not all hope is lost. The students have one more shot to prove they can achieve academically.

Bill Montford, Superintendent of Leon County Schools, says, "We have about 300 third graders who didn't meet requirements to be promoted to the fourth grade."

But the students do have one last chance to make the fourth grade roll call by mastering the Summer Reading Camp, intensive instruction geared towards each child's individual needs.

"Identified deficiency kids had during school year and they are able to give them that one on one attention," says Astoria Park assistant principal, Karwynn Paul.

After all, studies show 75 percent of students who cannot read independently by third grade will continue to struggle as a reader throughout their lives, but the purpose of the camp isn't to promote the kids, but make sure they are ready to read to learn.

Leon County runs four summer reading camps. The Florida Department of Education gave the district $308,000 for the camps. The camp ends July 15.

Superintendent Bill Montford says kids that participated in last year's camp were monitored this school year and have shown significant improvement in their reading skills. Plus, there doesn't seem to be any students who needed to repeat the summer reading camp.