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CMSD kicks off 6-week reading academy




Teachers assigned to the Elementary Summer Reading Academy at Robert H. Jamison School spent the first day of the program assessing children's skills.





CMSD kicked off its annual Elementary Summer Reading Academy on Monday, helping children in kindergarten through third grade get their literacy skills on track.

The six-week academy will run from 8:10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Monday through Friday -- except for the Fourth of July – at nine school sites. The District, which covers the cost with federal funds, invited hundreds of children who were identified as reading below grade level.

Christa Jemison, summer school principal at Robert H. Jamison School, welcomed about 250 students, a number that could grow, along with many parents. The students will receive breakfast and lunch and – if they live more than 1 mile away from Jamison -- free transportation.

Classes are limited to about 12 to 14 students, with lessons customized to individual needs. Jamison’s academy is staffed by 17 teachers, five instructional aides, two tutors from Cleveland State University and eight volunteers from a CMSD corps known as “the grannies.”

The children rotate in small groups to different “centers” and spend part of their day working online. Jemison said the school will closely measure the progress of all the students but will work very intensely with those whose summer test scores could help them meet Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

“It’s not our only focus, but it’s our main focus,” she said. “It’s crunch time for them.”

Nicole Jones, a “peer coach” for other teachers, said the academy also helps students avoid the academic “summer slide” that research shows can set in.

“This is a good way to keep them in the mindset of learning,” she said. “I think they enjoy it.”

The academy is part of wide-ranging literacy push that also includes individual “reading improvement and monitoring plans” followed throughout the school year. The efforts helped about 80 percent of third-graders meet the Guarantee and earn promotion to the fourth grade on the District's most recent report card.

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