R2BR Camp Week 2
This week was another busy week for Read to Be Ready summer campers. The curriculum which focused on plants continued this week as students further explored how plants grow, how to care for plants, and different types of plants. Students were exposed to many new books including The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons, The Curious Garden by Peter Brown, Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts, and My Awesome Summer by Paul Meisel. Campers continued to explore the world around us by writing observations in their journals, creating poems about nature, and generating questions to answer about the topics explored. A collaborative news-letter about camp activities was started by groups of students, and this news-letter will travel home with students upon completion. Students also spent much of their time enjoying read-alouds, reading independently, and buddy reading. Hands-on activities included planting tomatoes, marigolds, impatiens, onions, and potatoes in the school garden, planting cacti from sprouts from a large cactus, and dissecting fruits to observe with microscopes.

The Read to Be Ready Summer camp had many special guests this week. On Tuesday, a garden specialist, Kaitlyn Jones, from Evergreen Nursery in Johnson City came to speak with students about growing plants in a greenhouse. Students experienced a variety of plants including a Venus fly trap, an aloe plant, and a popcorn plant. Campers were also instructed on how to properly plant and care for a tomato plant seedling. Each student took home a tomato plant donated by Evergreen Nursery to add to their own garden. Dr. Susan Bryant, assistant director of Greeneville City Schools, also visited on Tuesday as a guest reader during lunch. On Wednesday, students were visited by Erin Evans, the director of the local library, and Joel Houser, a local bee expert. Ms. Evans read books about bees aloud to students. Mr. Houser shared many fascinating facts about bees and provided details about how honey is produced. Students had the opportunity to see an observation beehive and taste fresh honey from a real honey comb. Mrs. Amy Haynie, instructional specialist and academic coach for Greeneville City Schools, also visited on Wednesday as a guest reader during lunch.

Field trips were another exciting part of the week! On Monday, students traveled to Myers Pumpkin Patch and Farm. Farmer Vera Ann Myers and Farmer Alvin Myers took students on a tour of the greenhouses, taught students how to gather seeds from flowering plants, and took students on a hayride to view the recently planted corn field that will serve as the corn maze in the fall. Students took home many plants to add to their personal gardens including marigolds, impatiens, and peppers. Thursday’s field trip started at Rural Resources in Greene County. Students learned about the nutrition benefits of eating fresh vegetables, planted sunflowers, had the opportunity to milk a cow, churned fresh butter, and made pancakes to enjoy with their butter. Each camper was given a sunflower plant to put in their home garden. After a fun filled morning at Rural Resources, students traveled to Tusculum University and enjoyed lunch on the lawn at the Meen Math and Science Center. Following lunch, students met with Mrs. Stacy McGill, associate director of Upward Bound, and Cindy Propst, Greeneville High School biology teacher, to tour the biology labs and learn about animals. Each camper was able to explore the inside of a fetal pig and the heart of an adult pig. High school upward bound students assisted the campers in this fascinating learning opportunity. A number of Read to Be Ready campers discovered that they may someday want to pursue a career in biology.
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