“Welcome to camp read”

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“Welcome to camp read”

Resisting that invitation may be impossible after scanning the book titles highlighted on 12 classroom doors in the Hartman Literacy and Learning Center. The Wonderful World of Oz, Sneaky Peaky Spying, Ella Enchanted — each one offers an escape into a world of fun.

The center collaborated with Wade’s World Foundation to open this galaxy to 60 schoolchildren from Milwaukee’s underserved neighborhoods this summer in the Dwyane Wade Live to Dream Summer Reading Program. For six weeks, the children hopped on buses at Bruce Guadalupe Community School, Highland Community School, Brown Street Academy, Woodlands East, Milwaukee College Prep, St. Rose and St. Leo’s schools and came to Marquette to read.

dwade

Their “Wade Coaches” were new Marquette teaching grads who trained for this special assignment. They worked to help the children retain — maybe improve — reading skills during the school break. If the promise of better reading skills wasn’t enough of a carrot to attract the children to summer school, the visit by program namesake and Miami Heat all-star Dwyane Wade was more than ample payoff.

The Marquette alumnus read to the children, says associate professor of educational policy and leadership and center director Dr. Kathleen Clark, and told them how he used reading to help him play better basketball.

“Urban low-income children tend to lose between two and four months of reading ability during the summer,” Clark says. “Success for us is if the children don’t lose reading skills.”

But Clark, her team of Wade Coaches and Wade’s World Foundation were happily rewarded. Statistical analyses comparing children’s mean pre- and post-program Qualitative Reading Inventory-5 and Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test scores showed students made significant gains in recognizing words, comprehending and reading with fluency. “We’re thrilled to pieces,” Clark says. — JMM

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation and Todd Wehr Foundation have agreed to partner with Marquette and Wade’s World Foundation by committing $65,000 each to support the summer reading program through 2020.

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