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New Century Education
Early Summer Program for Students with Dyslexia
Overview of Program
Participating students will receive daily instruction, 5 days per week, in a special curriculum designed to help students with dyslexia transition from simple decoding to fluency and reading chapter books. This dyslexia curriculum makes use of digital versions of chapter books written in Noah Text®, a phonologically scaffolded text that helps reduce the cognitive effort exerted by students in decoding, so they can focus more on the meaning of the text and begin to enjoy reading books.
Students will also participate in their respective school’s distance learning programs in classroom space set up in the Kittatinny Lodge with educational support on-site from the tutors. It is anticipated that students will take their regular distance learning classes in math, science, social studies and English/Language Arts as prescribed by their respective schools.
After completing five hours of school programs as described above, students will enjoy outdoor camp activities, including team building exercises (e.g. climbing wall), environmental education programs (e.g. collecting specimens in the local streams), and traditional camp activities, including water sports, sailing, climbing, archery and hiking segments of the nearby Appalachian Trail.
Curriculum for Dyslexia
Reading specialists in Connecticut and Rhode Island have used chapter books written in Noah Text® for the past four years. They report that in many cases, these are the first chapter books that their students, have been able to read and enjoy. The corresponding digitized lessons have been developed with researchers at Michigan State University and further guided by Orton-Gillingham and Wilson trained reading specialists who have used the Noah Text® books with their students.
The lessons add exercises in helping students to spot patterns in words in order to help them decode some of the more difficult words in the chapter they are about to read. Each lesson focuses on one chapter. Students are also taught the definitions of words to further build their vocabulary. The lessons also include supports, such as pronouncing the more difficult words (which are highlighted) when the student clicks on the word. Pre-reading and close reading exercises are provided to help students develop better skills in literal comprehension, main idea, and inference. The lessons are also designed to help support working memory, another challenge for many students with dyslexia.
During most weeks, there will be reading circles on Friday where students can read selected passages with assistance in expression and articulation from the counsellors. There will also be a discussion of one or more questions related to the chapters they have read that week.
Two Alternative Experiences
The program will be offered from Sunday, May 16th to Friday June 18th
Students can participate in a sleep away experience for 5 weeks, including lodging in the cabins with other students and a full time tutor. Parents will be expected to pick their student up each week on Friday by 6:00 PM and drop them off on Sunday evening for dinner at 6:00 PM. The one exception is Memorial Day in which students will return to camp by 6:00 PM on Monday, May 31st, instead of Sunday.
Select a 5 day per week, day-school experience for those in the local area who wish to be dropped off at 8:00 AM and picked up by 6:00 PM each day.
Administration of the program will be overseen by tutors who will also supervise the living arrangements of sleep away students. The tutors will be led by Ian Clemente, a doctoral candidate enrolled in Michigan State University’s Educational Psychology and Educational Technology Ph,D. program. Ian has previously served as a summer camp counsellor and Senior Staff member at Fairview Lake YMCA Camps. In addition, all tutors in the program will have college degrees while also being trained to assist students with their distance learning classes and the curriculum for dyslexia. The student to counsellor ratio is expected to be 5 to 1 – so students get the support they need.
Led by Ian, the tutors will start each class using the curriculum for dyslexia with instruction in identifying patterns in words. For example, they will learn the pattern “-tion” as in “nation” and “location” to help students decode larger, more complex words that will appear in the next chapter. Students will then complete one lesson, including a chapter of the book each day. They will complete one chapter book by the end of the 5-week period. The engaging book series is called “The Mystical Years of Franklin Noah Peterson,” and students typically look forward to the next lesson with the next chapter. There are two additional books in the series that students will receive at the end of the program.
History of Running Programs for Children Amidst Covid-19
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Fairview Lake YMCA Camps has successfully run a day camp, including last summer with up to 150 children per day. The camp has invested in preventative measures, and uses foggers, ultraviolet lights and other equipment to disinfect the dining hall and recreation facilities each evening. Equipment, including even sailboats, are disinfected between uses. In addition, campers were kept separated in pods, and proper mask wearing, frequent washing of hands and distancing protocols are maintained. The camp has experienced no incidents of infection. This summer, the camp has been able to obtain access to regular testing to further enhance the ability to quickly identify, track and trace any potential infections.
Qualifications for the Program:
In order to be eligible for this specialized program, students will need to be able to read proficiently at the 4th grade level or better. In addition, students should be ages 11-15. They will need to bring their own computer.
Students will receive an independent assessment (aimswebPlus), both at the beginning and at the end of the program, to be able to measure learning gains in reading during their 5-week program.
Cost: Sleepaway program (5 weeks) : $2,300
Day program (5 weeks, includes lunch each day): $1,550
Contact: Jim Griffin – (866) 326-1133, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Information on Fairview Lake YMCA Camps: https://www.fairviewlakeymca.org