Thanks to an innovative summer program, middle school students are getting a head start on fall classes.
In Suffolk, Virginia, students are gaining reading skills and retaining what they read without pressure, by participating in summer courses at Wildcat University. Wildcat is the mascot at Forest Glen Middle School, and now is the mascot of the summer reading group that meets weekly at the Suffolk Church of God.
20 Forest Glen students with English SOL scores that need improvement in reading are attending the classes taught by English teacher Natalie Rotzler is administering the course with fellow Forest Glen teachers Caren Bueshi, Kerri Epperson and Barbara Espinosa.
“We wanted to target kids who don’t like to read and help them do well,” Rotzler said. “I thought if I could get them to read and play some games this summer, it would give them that extra push for when they come back in the fall.”
“There’s something called the summer slide – that if students don’t read over the summer their progress is stifled, and they actually begin to regress,” Bueshi said. “It’s noticeable in the elementary grades, and by middle school it really hits them.”