On Wednesday, August 6, 2014, young participants of the Cooper Learning Center Summer Reading Institute demonstrated their reading skills with guests, corporate sponsors and representatives from Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper at an open house event.
Now in its ninth year, the six-week Cooper Learning Center Summer Reading Institute is keeping kids academically connected through fun and friendly summer reading camps held at two Camden locations.
Since its inception, the program has been offered to students in Kindergarten through grade 2 who live in the Lanning Square neighborhood of Camden. In 2012, the program was expanded to include kindergarten readiness enrichment to pre-school children through the CDI Head Start; a Child Care Center in Camden for children ages 3 through 6.
Thanks to increased donor funding, the program expanded again this year and is offered to both pre-school and school-aged children in the city’s Centerville Section through the Centerville Head Start located on South 8th Street. In total this year, 50 children are participating in the Summer Reading Institute and 40 preschoolers are taking part in the kindergarten reading readiness program.
For thousands of children living in urban areas, the instability of their socioeconomic issues can cause young students to suffer academically. Through no fault of their own, they face a grim environment plagued by poor academic standards, low morale and financial woes. Research indicates that more than 60 percent of children in the urban population are at risk for falling behind in school and 1 out of 9 who is not at the correct reading level by 1st grade, never will be.
“All of the best research highlights the value of early intervention with the right approaches,” said Dr. Richard Selznick, Director of the Cooper Learning Center. “Targeting core skills early can have tremendous impact. The summer is a great time to work on these skills. Our goal is to provide a foundation in a positive and fun environment that reinforces the skills learned.”
The program is made possible thanks to the generous and ongoing support from local businesswoman, Anne E. Koons of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, Realtors, Cherry Hill Office, and the Cooper Women’s Board and the Cooper Foundation.
“I was thrilled to be able to help expand the program this year and hope to continue to do so in the future because seeing these children learn to read, overcome learning disabilities and feel good about themselves makes it all worthwhile,” said Anne E. Koons. “Watching the fantastic support of the parents this year reminded me of the lessons my parents taught of giving back to our communities and bettering lives through educational opportunities like this program.”
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