Kids keeping brain and body active

Grace An chooses a book to read at home with help from Andrew Calado, teacher at the Mission Hill school summer reading and sports camp.  - Cara Brady/Morning Star
Grace An chooses a book to read at home with help from Andrew Calado, teacher at the Mission Hill school summer reading and sports camp.
— image credit: Cara Brady/Morning Star

Some Mission Hill Elementary students are back at school for the summer holidays and they're happy about it.

"It's fun. It's really nice to be here having fun. I love the sports, especially the soccer and the kickball," said Riya Dhand, one of 27 students going into Grades 2, 3 and 4 who are taking part in the summer reading and sports camp.

It's the first time for the school district summer reading program at the school and staff members decided to add a sports component to keep the students active, thanks to donations from the Rienie Holland Sports Foundation and National Bank Financial.

The students spend two hours each morning doing a variety of reading activities with qualified teachers.

"This helps the students keep up the momentum of the learning of the school year and adding the sports makes it more of a camp experience for the children," said Mission Hill principal Candy Siegmueller.

The students are divided into groups according to their reading level and spend time at various centres each day with teachers Christina Calado, Ken Davidson and Andrew Calado. The centres include the computer reading program, reading in groups, partner reading and the listening centre. The students are allowed to choose books to take home to read.

"The reading is fun. There are hundreds of books. I really like books," said Arielle Vance.

"I really like to do the sports, too. I'd like it if we could do volleyball."

There are some English as a second language students in the camp who appreciate the chance to work more on English.

"We can play games outside. I like the reading on the computer and the listening centre," said Perla Paladino, who came to Vernon with her family from Nicaragua last October.

Darien Embree is a Grade 5 student who is a volunteer peer tutor with the program.

"I like to help the little kids and see how good their reading is and see that it is getting better and I help with the sports program," he said.

Christina Calado said the students like the casual, camp-like atmosphere.

"They love everything and we're all having a good time together."


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