Fun at Camp Carter: New program allows LSUA ed students to help youngsters’ skills stay sharp
LECOMPTE — Jonathan Clark’s eyes opened wide when he realized his bingo card contained the word just announced by a teacher.
“I’ve got it!,” Jonathan, 9, said with a smile, quickly placing a red marker on top of the word and getting a smile back from some of his classmates who also had sight-word bingo cards in front of them.
The children were at Carter C. Raymond Elementary School participating in the school’s first Camp Carter, a new summer reading enhancement program in partnership with Louisiana State University at Alexandria.
The program has a dual goal, said school principal Kellie Welch and Arlene Duos, the LSUA program coordinator.
The program aims to sharpen young students’ reading skills during the summer break and to help LSUA education students acquire needed training and experience in real classrooms.
Duos said the program is in response to recent state mandate that requires teacher candidates in the certification-only alternate program to acquire 80 hours of classroom training. The LSUA program was approved for teacher candidates to obtain the required 80 contact hours by the Louisiana Department of Education.
Duos said she approached Welch with the idea for the camp and the partnership was born.
The roughly 18 college students and their educators began the camp June 1 and will be there until June 22, when the elementary students will perform for their parents to showcase their acquired skills.
“I wanted to come, because they said we were going to have activities, and plays and then we have to show parents what we learn,” said Azleigh Robinson, 9, who along with her brother, Drelyn Robinson, 11, were practicing dance.
Welch said the camp, which she hopes will be an annual event, is a good addition to the school’s enrichment opportunities. Prior to this year, there was little to offer the students at the school.
“Parents and grandparents were very happy, and children get to see us in a different light, we are in casual dress, we are interacting with them and having fun,” Welch said.
Back at the sight word bingo game, Dana Peart, one of the college students, said being part of the camp was an enlightening experience.
“I have a little experience but not a whole lot,” said Peart, who hopes to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in education this fall. “I am surprised at how much they know. I know they’re smart kids, but they just blow you away every time.”