Summer reading camps keep students from falling behind

HISD’s Literacy by 3 initiative is getting aid from other Houston sources.

The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation has allied with the Houston Area Urban League to create several summer reading camps at various affordable housing communities in Houston, several of which serve HISD students.

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At those camps, volunteers read with children, discuss the books, and then guide the children in answering questions and writing out reflections. Each child takes home a packet of books to add to their personal libraries. Many of these children come from homes that do not have a surplus of reading material.

“One of the things we’re really trying to do is to mitigate that summer slide where kids, especially low-income kids, don’t have access to books,” said Kristin Stubbs, the Bush Houston Literacy Foundation chief development officer.

Corporations, such as the energy manufacturing company Phillips 66, encourage their employees to volunteer at these reading camps. On July 16, a group of Phillips 66 volunteers spent the day at Clayton Homes, an affordable housing community with many HISD students.

“Phillips 66 firmly believes in and is committed to enhancing literacy for all,” said Phillips 66 Advisor of Community Investments Ed Thayer. “We’re trying to invest in our future by supporting youth and reading.”

“The young people in this room have no summer books, no summer help,” added Houston Area Urban League President Judson Robinson III. “Our objective is to come in and offset some of what they’ve missed this summer.”