Celebrate 20 Years of Wild Reading!

Celebrate 20 Years of Wild Reading!
It is hard to believe that it has been 20 years since Bay Village Schools and the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center (with our own Barb Marsh coordinating) partnered to bring the Wild Summer Reading Program to hundreds of young readers in our school district. Mark the date and plan to help us celebrate (with some special guests). What an amazing success story! Please join us on June 10!

Wild Summer Reading Camp celebrates 20th anniversary June 10 at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center

The Wild Summer Reading Camp, a partnership between the Bay Village Schools and Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, enlists animals to help youngsters who have struggled learning to read. The program has an extraordinary track record of success, and on June 10, 2 p.m., its partners will celebrate its 20th anniversary. Celebrating along with them at the Center will be former Ohio Governor Bob Taft, who was present to award an Ohio Reads Grant as the program launched two decades ago. The anniversary celebration is open to the public, and it will be held on Monday, June 10 at 2 p.m. at Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, 28728 Wolf Road in Bay Village. Light refreshments will be served.

"Nothing is more important to a child’s education than learning to read – it is the skill that allows the study of every other subject for years to come," said Barb Marsh, a Reading Specialist with the Bay Village Schools and the original coordinator of the program. “We can document that children who participate in the Wild Summer Reading Camp not only retain their progress in reading over the summer, but they make gains,” said Marsh. “This kind of intervention pays dividends for years to come.”

The Wild Summer Reading Camp uses books about snakes, birds (including birds of prey like eagles and owls), turtles, fish and wildlife like skunks, foxes and lizards to teach reading skills and discuss facts about the Center’s animals. Marsh said about 800 nonfiction science books, all selected to match the Center’s exhibits, were purchased with dollars from the Ohio Reads Grant. One of the grant writers, former Normandy Elementary School Principal Dr. Jim McGlamery, will also be on hand to celebrate.

“The children are intrigued with these animals and they want to learn about them,” said Marsh. “So they are truly motivated to read these colorful books. They love coming to the program each day.”

The program focuses on using reading specialists and many volunteers to work with the children. In addition, to enjoying the animal shows presented by Center employees and volunteers, students go on hikes and attend planetarium shows. By the close of the four-week-long camp, each student will have read 40 books, one each day with their reading teacher and one each day with a volunteer. The children also keep two journals to develop writing skills.

Encouraging children’s curiosity and enhancing their learning is the heart of our mission. Nature activities, animal programs, and planetarium visits energize children in such a meaningful way that lasts with them for years,” said Catherine Timko, Executive Director of the Center. “This collaborative partnership further expands the Center’s education reach to children in our community beyond our daily programs and classes. We are excited to be celebrating 20 years of service to these children with Bay Village Schools.”

Wild Summer Reading Anniversary
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