The Judy Center at Campfield Early Childhood Center hosted a summer reading program from July 9–27, 2012. Families and child care providers with children ages 5 and younger were invited to attend, including those participating in Infants and Toddlers programs at the Judy Center.
The summer program offered a story time with daily guest readers, children’s lunches, an interactive literacy time for the children and their parents or child care providers, and a time for crafts and/or board games. During the craft time, parents could participate with their children or join in discussions. At the end of the program, parents had the opportunity to play BINGO for children’s books, craft materials, and other donated gifts.
Guest readers included Baltimore County Public Schools’ employees as well as community members. Some shared their favorite children’s books, and most led activities to get the children and adults moving and singing. Among the readers were personnel from the feeder schools, Baltimore County Public Library, Baltimore County Infants and Toddlers Program, Head Start, Even Start, and Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY). Local child care providers, parents, former Campfield Principal Deb Feaster, and former Judy Center Facilitator Clarice Taylor were also among the readers.
The children’s lunches were provided through the BCPS’ Office of Food and Nutrition Services. Thirty to nearly 60 children were fed each day. Parents and child care providers were invited to bring their own lunches so that they could eat with their children. Popsicles and foods related the five senses were provided through a gift wrapping fundraiser from Barnes and Noble.
Interactive literacy activities for children and accompanying adults were planned and implemented by BCPS’ staff using the High Reach curriculum, with a focus on science and literature. Participants learned about themselves, their families, and their connections to the world during the first week. The second and third weeks covered the five senses and space studies.
While the children were busy with crafts, parents and child care providers learned about library programs and services and the importance of children having their own library cards. Other topics covered were the dangers of lead paint, housing programs, and tax-free shopping for school supplies. The various programs available through the Judy Center were also showcased, and parents and providers were encouraged to register for the fall parent and child programs and child care training programs.
Three local high school students earned service-learning hours by assisting with the summer program. They helped children with their lunches, story time, crafts, and board games.
Each participating child received five books from First Book over the course of the program as well as a water bottle, a tote bag filled with various supplies, and a summer fun activity packet that included a list of free and low-cost family activities around the Baltimore area. Books for school-aged children were donated through some of the Judy Center partners. Both adults and children received “literacy” T-shirts as reminders of the importance of spending time reading every day.