Museum Updates Read to Succeed

Summer Learning Camp

The Mississippi Children’s Museum (MCM) is committed to improving the childhood literacy development of Mississippi’s children through its hands-on, place-based experiences, specialized learning opportunities and educational programming. Each summer since 2016, MCM has hosted an intensive summer reading camp called Read to Succeed (RTS) to help students in the Jackson Public School District (JPS) who had not successfully passed the 3rd Grade Summative Reading Assessment during the previous school year.

Young girl reading a book


According to Mississippi’s Literacy-Based Promotion Act, children who do not pass the 3rd Grade Reading Summative Assessment by the end of the 3rd grade will not be promoted to the 4th grade. Third graders take this test in their spring semester, and students who fail have two more chances to take the test during the following summer. If they fail these subsequent assessments, they are held back.

Through private funding from donors across the state, MCM was able to provide a week of literacy-based lessons to students from JPS. The camp included 4 daily lessons covering comprehension, phonics, and vocabulary taught by certified teachers and one-on-one tutoring with camp volunteers. MCM hired five master teachers, including one to serve as an interventionist, to lead the students in a week of intensive reading lessons. This interventionist was able to work with the students with the lowest test scores in smaller groups and provide them with an even more intense and personal experience. All of these teachers have extensive experience teaching 3rd grade reading, and their students had demonstrated success on the 3rd grade reading test during the previous year. The teachers each created and implemented their lessons based on the needs of the students.

Read to Succeed Camp also sought to address the needs of the children, including providing healthy meals and fun activities in addition to the intensive workshops. During the camp, students were provided breakfast, lunch, and a snack each day during the camp, as well as time to explore, learn, and play in the museum. Community members partnered with MCM to provide acelebration on the final day to show support of the students and encourage a balance of fun and hard work before the testing dates. The camp was only possible through the support of the teachers, a strong corp of local volunteers and community members who aided the MCM staff in reading with children, providing meals and cleaning up, and donations from businesses and individuals across the state—it was truly a community powered week!