Point Elementary first graders enjoy daylong camping adventure to celebrate reading

Point Elementary first graders Gus Taylor, left, and Spencer Summers participate in the s'mores recipe reading activity during Camp Reads-A-Lot, a first grade event held on May 18 to celebrate the students' reading accomplishments this year.

Point Elementary first graders Gus Taylor, left, and Spencer Summers participate in the s’mores recipe reading activity during Camp Reads-A-Lot, a first grade event held on May 18 to celebrate the students’ reading accomplishments this year.

“Camp Reads-A-Lot! Camp Reads-A-Lot!” echoed across the playground at Point Elementary as 75 first graders chanted their camp name while they moved from one reading activity to the next last week.

Camp Reads-A-Lot is the brainchild of Point Elementary first grade teachers Ann Zimpfer, Jennifer Koenig and Victoria Dedic, who created the event during the 2009-010 school year with funding from a Mehlville-Oakville Foundation mini-grant, according to a news release.

“It is a celebration of a year of learning and the gains in reading the students have made,” Zimpfer stated.

During the daylong “camp” on May 18, students visited several camping-related stations including fishing in a pond full of vocabulary words, making camping vests and badges, going on a bear hunt (a wild flora and fauna tour) and campfire storytelling. And, no camp would be complete without the s’mores recipe reading activity – a favorite among the students.

“We are thrilled when the kids say they have a great time, and this camp gives them the opportunity to recognize how much they have grown,” Zimpfer said.

To host Camp Reads-A-Lot for the second year in a row, the first grade teachers reused many of the materials purchased with the Mehlville-Oakville Foundation mini-grant funds last year. The school also received private funding and donations and utilized the help of a dozen parent volunteers for this year’s event.

“I like the bookmark because I made it,” first grader Gus Taylor said. Gus’ classmate, A.J. Barnett, preferred the bear hunt. “It was cool to do a project with reading and writing about living things and non-living things,” A.J. said.