Learning club boosts literacy skills

Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

Keith Martin, a teacher at Mallett School in Farmington, talks to campers on Monday who are participating in the Mallett Summer Learning Club. The program helps children in first and second grades build literacy skills. The six-week program is paid for by a $50,000 grant from the John T. Gorman Foundation.

FARMINGTON — Several children sat at round tables Monday morning, writing in their hard-covered nature journals.

First- and second-graders talk around a makeshift campfire on Monday during the Mallett Summer Learning Club at the W. G. Mallett School in Farmington. The theme is "Camping in Maine Vacationland." The intent is to help build literacy skills, reading, writing and oral language. It is made possible through a $50,000 grant from the John T. Gorman Foundation.

Campers and counselors sing "Going on a Bear Hunt" on Monday, complete with hand motions to demonstrate climbing during the Mallett Summer Learning Club at the W. G. Mallett School in Farmington. The six-week literacy program is made possible through a $50,000 grant from the John T. Gorman Foundation.

Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

Campers in first and second grade are participating in the Mallett Summer Learning Program and are learning about Maine at the W.G. Mallett School this summer. The theme is "Camping in Maine Vacationland." A mural posted on the wall depicts mountains, water, moose and other Maine highlights.

Some campers had a snack or sipped a drink as they wrote what they have seen and done lately during the Mallett Summer Learning Club.

Three tents were set up around the outskirts of the cafeteria at the W.G. Mallett School. A list of words related to camping were posted on an easel.

The theme is "Camping in Maine Vacationland."

The summer learning program is for campers in first and second grades to help with building literacy skills: reading, writing and oral language, according to Keith Martin, coordinator and counselor of the program and third-grade teacher at the school. The other counselors also are teachers.

The six-week program is made possible through a $50,000 grant that Leanne Condon, RSU 9 assistant superintendent/director of curriculum, and Martin wrote and received from the John T. Gorman Foundation.

This is the third week of club adventures.

“It is an opportunity for kids to do enriched activities,” Martin said. “We are working with community partners.”

The group goes to the Health and Fitness Center at the University of Maine at Farmington every Tuesday. They've worked with Upcountry Artists and will be working with the Healthy Community Coalition among others, he said.

They visited the Hardy Farm in Farmington last week. One boy was writing about the calf he saw at the farm in his journal.

There are also plans to walk in nearby Bonney and Flint Woods.

Campers and counselors went to the gymnasium and sat in a circle around a makeshift campfire, complete with wood and paper flames. Three more tents lined the edges of the room. A fake tree had an old Maine license plate balanced among its branches. A mural consisting of mountains, water and a trail was posted on the wall. Cutouts of the sun, moose, tents and other things were added.

The camp runs 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday for campers, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for counselors.

There are about 41 children participating, assistant coordinator and counselor Vicki Foster said.

Campers and counselors took turns saying what they did over the weekend. Swimming and hiking were among the top activities.

Last week, they learned about moose. This week, they are learning about the Maine black bear, Martin told them.

They moved to the reading area set up in the gym and sat down. Counselors Diane Kyes and Melissa Speich read the poem, “The Bear,” which was posted on a board for all to see.

Before they knew it, campers were reading the poem together with half the room reading one portion of verses and the other half reading opposite verses.

When they finished, it was time to sing “Going on a Bear Hunt,” accompanied by music. For each portion of the song, there was a different body motion, including using fingers to tiptoe into the cave.

Before the end of Monday's session, they were to discover more about birds and have a visit from a rehabilitator to learn about the job.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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Steve  Dosh's picture

Learning club boosts literacy skills

Donna, Monday 18:00 hst ?
. . †his is worthwhile activity , as are summer vacations for children with their peers and families
Here in Hawai'i the local Montessori pre - school seems to keep them year round . Even our public school system lets 'em out in July and wants 'em back in August already .
Pƒƒt . . Memorial Day - Labor day v a c a t i o n , we say !
" A fake tree had an old Maine license plate balanced among its branches. "
l o l - Look at my picture :D
btw - this summer i am running a wayward home for feral children here in Hawai'i it seems .
S e r i o u s !
One kid ( Ritchie - ƒriend of my son's ) is coming over tonight because of ' family problems .'
Q: We try , don't we ?
A: Oui , Happy day after Bastille Day
/s Dr. Dosh , Bates '78 & a former volunteer E S L teacher of ƒrench Canadian children in L/A

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