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Schools gearing up for summer learning programs amid Literacy Act delay

Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 11:07 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the bill that will delay the Literacy Act for two more years. It is the act that would hold back third graders who aren’t reading at grade level.

The act does still require students who are behind to be enrolled in summer reading camps by their districts.

Dr. Jameka Thomas, Director of Curriculum for Bessemer City Schools, said they are thankful for the delayed Literacy Act because many students are still struggling. She said they are now gearing up for a busy summer enrichment program to help get these students where they need to be

“We have students who really need some intensive help,” Thomas said. “We do recognize there are some things we have to do as a system to prepare our kids and catch our kids up.”

Thomas said they are preparing for hundreds of students.

“We are expecting about 600 K through 4th grade,” she said. “Possibly around 300 sixth through 12th.”

The program is for all students and starts on June 6th and runs until July 1st. It is from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and breakfast and lunch will be provided. Thomas said they will use six different school buildings.

“It will have three hours of reading,” she said. “It will have an hour and thirty minutes of math and then we are also having enrichment activities. Just a little bit more time with them in the summer is going to help increasing their proficiency in reading.”

Thomas said since it is summer, they wanted kids to have fun enrichment activities like gardening and cooking. Middle school students can also take classes for high school credit and high school students can participate in dual credit classes over the summer.

Thomas said the district is also breaking classes down into smaller groups, so students get more individual attention.

“One teacher per 14 students,” she said. “We are trying to create these smaller groups, these smaller and safe atmospheres for students who are struggling to really be in a place where they feel like they can learn.”

The district is also accepting applications for teachers and instructional aides for the summer.

The Literacy Act is delayed until the 2023-2024 school year.

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