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This summer, approximately 70 students are enrolled in a camp that is designed to help them improve their reading, math and technology skills in an adventure format. Called Adventure Academy, the Franklin Special School District is prepared to move struggling students forward in a fun, camp-like setting.

Here are some examples of the camp curriculum:

• One group of fifth-grade students will practice wilderness survival skills as they read the novel, My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George. While the novel follows the travails of a boy who runs away from home to live in the Catskill mountains, science teacher Patty Littlejohn will help the students replicate the survival skills they read about. The students will identify edible plants as well as try their hand at more technologically advanced activities, such as digital photo journaling, and writing activities.

• Teachers Aimee Servais and Dinah Wade are using a cooking theme as they work with second-grade students. The children will learn to read recipes, write recipes in correct format, and use math to measure the ingredients. The students will also film a cooking show.

• Teacher Hillary Chambers is teaching a chocolate unit to her fourth-grade students.  The students are reading Chocolate Fever, by Robert Kimmel Smith, and coordinating math and technology skills around the book. The students are using different types of chocolate candy, such as m & m’s and miniature candy bars, to measure and graph.

This is the third year of Adventure Academy, which began when the district recognized a need to expand its summer programs to provide rich learning experiences for students who struggle with grade-level proficiency in reading. It has expanded its focus this year to include math as well.

Low student-teacher ratios enable teachers to spend one-on-one time with each child. The Academy strives to provide experiential learning opportunities. “During the Adventure Academy, teachers work with small groups of students to reinforce reading, language arts and math skills through activities incorporating hands-on learning,” said Debbie Carroll, camp director and FSSD Technology Integration Specialist.

Students attending Adventure Academy are rising second- through fifth-grade English language learners and English-speaking students who have the potential for solid academic gain. Students are recommended for the Academy by their classroom teachers and enjoy the two-week camp environment.

The staff includes certified teachers, a media specialist for library checkout and Accelerated Reader testing, a nurse, and a full time administrator. This year’s Academy is June 9-20 from 8:00-11:30 a.m. at Franklin Elementary School, 1501 Figuers Drive. Transportation is provided and the program is made possible by local funding. Teachers are paid through the state’s extended contract program.