Jemison hosts second annual summer reading camp

Published 2:19 pm Friday, June 24, 2022

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By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

Jemison Elementary School is hosting its second annual summer reading camp throughout the month of June this summer. The camp was open to all Jemison and Thorsby elementary school students who wanted to fill their summer with reading and fun activities.

“We have tried to make it fun for them because even though they had to give up part of their summer, we wanted it to be worth it, and we wanted them to want to come,” Bethany Smith, a reading specialist at JES, said.

The camp was designed to get students back into the classroom and help them get back some of the lost time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. JES received funds from a state COVID relief fund to help put the camp together.

“It is helping our children get back to where they were,” Smith said. “They lost so much over their time at home, so this helps them get caught back up to where they need to be.”

Each week the students had a different theme and the activities were based off the theme of the week.

For Peach Week, the students designed artwork that looked like the peach water tower in Clanton and made a garden in a glove on June 23. Chilton County Extension Agent David Lawrence first gave a presentation on peaches in Chilton County and how they grow.

After that, Extension Coordinator Lucy Edwards helped pass out cotton balls, a plastic glove and seeds. She explained how to make the glove garden by putting cotton in each finger, then a seed and then another cotton ball before adding a little water to each finger. The seeds will begin to sprout and the students can then put the plant in soil.

“Just to be able to be around the kids (has been great),” Smith said. “To be able to get on a more intimate basis with them and to get to know them, that has been great.”

The students also had a zoo-themed week where animal handlers brought in bugs, reptiles and other animals.

Students also got an opportunity to play together as well.

“It has been fun,” student Jaaron Brown said. “I liked the library, we played with Legos.”

JES had bouncy houses and slides throughout the month of June. The students also made ice cream, made sand slime and played games in the library.

“We have been … playing with each other,” student Elizabeth Cain said. “I liked the Legos, too … And playing with the magnetic blocks.”

Smith said the teachers have had almost as much fun as the students have during the camp.

“We really have enjoyed watching the growth of the kids,” Smith said. “That has been the best thing for (the teachers).”

The JES summer reading camp will conclude on June 30.