UCF College of Education/City of Orlando Reading Camp Program
The UCF College of Education in collaboration with the City of Orlando operates a unique Reading Camp Program at two community centers in downtown Orlando on Saturday mornings during both the Fall and Spring semesters, and daily during the month of June. Elementary children (Kindergarten through Grade Six) receive free tutoring in reading by UCF teacher education students.
Both undergraduate Elementary Education majors and graduate Reading Masters students are afforded this unique, multicultural experience in their respective programs. In addition, parents of the children receiving the personalized reading instruction participate in a Parent Education Program focused on helping their child improve his/her reading abilities at home. This parent program occurs while the children are being tutored in reading.
The Reading Camps are held at the John H. Jackson Community Center, located at 1002 West Carter Street, and the Dr. J.B. Callahan Neighborhood Center, at 101 North Parramore Avenue. The community centers operate through the Families, Parks, & Recreation Department in the City of Orlando. They are the only community centers in this area, the poorest section of Orange County, Florida. Both are located in the historic, African-American neighborhood of Parramore where residents are succeeding against a myriad of social and economic challenges. Seventy-three percent of children in Parramore live in poverty. Every day in Parramore, children’s health and educational needs are subordinated to more pressing survival needs of food, clothing, and shelter.
The overall effects of the children participating in the tutoring, the parents receiving specific instruction on how to teach their children to read at home, and the UCF teacher education students receiving this experience are immeasurable but so critical in all of their lives.
The originator of this collaborative concept and Director of the Reading Camps was Dr. Timothy R. Blair, Professor of Reading Education, in the School of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership in the College of Education at the University of Central Florida.
Contact Taylar Wenzel