R2BR Camp Week 3
Read to Be Ready summer campers enjoyed an exciting third week of activities. The focus of this week’s curriculum was on animals and how these creatures adapt to natural changes within their environment. Don’t Take Your Snake for a Stroll, Born in the Wild: Baby Mammals and Their Parents, What if You Had Animal Teeth, and Wild about Books were some of the books used to help set the stage for each day’s focus of study.
Reading and writing are important aspects of all camp activities. Students continued their work on a collaborative newsletter about daily camp activities and they completed a postcard to be sent to a friend or family member. The students used the postcard to write about their favorite part of camp, addressed their postcards, and placed them in the school mailbox for delivery. Campers were also able to choose seven new books, provided by the Read to Be Ready grant, to add to their home library. In addition they visited the Greeneville City School Book Bus where they traded in books they had already read and were able to select new books to take home to read.
Students visited the Tusculum View pond and wetlands where Girl Scouts were mounting birdhouses they had built onto tall posts near the water. They explained to the campers how the bird boxes would attract birds who would in turn eat the pesky mosquitoes living near the wetlands. Campers took a nature walk and participated in an exciting bird beak challenge.
Read to Be Ready summer camp week three once again included many special guests. On Monday Mary Murray-Vitrano, from Greene Animal League, and several Tennessee Promise volunteers brought three beautiful Huskies to buddy read with the campers. The rescue dogs were patient companions for the students and the adult volunteers who enjoyed reading to each other. Later in the day, Mary Little, herpetologist, and Janet Ricker, Hal Henard Elementary School principal and former high school science teacher, provided scientific information concerning snakes and other reptiles. Mrs. Ricker brought a juvenile snake which provided opportunities for the students to get up close, real-world, hands-on experiences. On Tuesday, Dr. Matt Quillen, a local veterinarian, talked to the students about animals, animal care, and his unique animal experiences. He spoke about the importance of learning to read, doing well in school and the educational commitment required to become a veterinarian. He brought parasitic worms in a jar, a snake specimen, and his beautiful, amazing parrot to help the students better understand the unique characteristics of animals. Another special guest this week was Marty Silver, wildlife naturalist with Warriors Path State Park. He discussed the predator/prey relationship between animals, especially raptors, which occurs naturally in the wild. He brought an Eastern Screech Owl for the students to observe and an owl pellet that the students dissected. Our guest readers during lunch this week were Stacy King, academic coach for Greeneville City Schools; Pat Donaldson, Teaching & Learning Coordinator for Greeneville City Schools, and Mr. Steve Starnes, director of Greeneville City Schools.
The Read to Be Ready campers completed the week with another exciting field trip. Our first stop for the day was Barnes and Noble bookstore in Johnson City which opened early to allow campers to take a tour and explore this wonderful world of books. Using grant funding each camper purchased more than $75 worth of books to take home for their personal book collection. Thank you, Vicky Combs, for an amazing experience! Afterwards, the campers enjoyed an Italian meal, free of charge, at Fazioli’s. They loved eating at a sit-down restaurant; but the all you can eat bread sticks and the soda were truly the hit of the day! Next the campers traveled to Tusculum University where they enjoyed a tour of the Thomas J. Garland library. Kathy Hipps, librarian, shared the unique history of the library and encouraged the campers to visit the library with their families. The last stop of this exciting day included a visit to Creamy Cup just across the street from the university. Lynette and Eric Price, owners, generously treated each of the students to a scoop of ice cream and a delicious fruit slush. All the campers agreed this was an amazing day!
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