Camelot Academy of Santa Rosa Celebrates Its First Florida Literacy Week
Camelot Academy of Santa Rosa students and staff participated in Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida, an annual statewide initiative through the Florida Department of Education to motivate kids to read. Students took the opportunity to express themselves by sharing their favorite books with their classmates and write stories of their own.
Each day during the last week in January was organized around a different activity. On Monday, students “dropped everything to read,” pausing to read in the morning. On Wednesday, students came to school dressed up as their favorite literary character. On Friday, faculty led a “readathon” and read to students throughout the day.
“The students really enjoyed it,” said Bess Tyler, high school reading teacher. “They brought books from home or from libraries. It was a special opportunity to inspire creative output for students who wrote books of their own as well.”
Academic Coordinator Okevia Carter felt the buzz around the building all week long.
“It was very exciting to see students and staff walking around with their favorite books all week,” said Carter, who organized many of the activities. “Students were excited to participate, especially to dress up as their favorite character and match up with other students in our ‘Reading Buddies’ program.”
With “Reading Buddies,” older students share their creativity with their classmates. Middle and high school students have been working on writing their own books in Language Arts and English classes. In partnership with a Reading Buddy from the elementary school, the older students could read their stories and inspire creativity in the minds of younger kids.
Eighth-grader Timothy Lewis’ book was about a raccoon and a fox. The raccoon ends up getting lost and has to use clues to find his way back to his family. Lewis found the creative process to be fun, saying that “It was fun to make the story and get creative with it, using my imagination.”
For his chosen book, 3rd grader Landen Buckhault enjoyed Dogman and Catkid. “I like the creativity about a person who is part dog and part man. The characters are good guys who fight crimes together.”
The school plans to incorporate the Literacy Week activities into its program on a regular basis going forward. “We plan to incorporate ‘Drop Everything and Read’ periodically throughout the remainder of the school year,” said Carter.
Camelot Academy of Santa Rose serves elementary school through high school students in partnership with the Santa Rosa School District, incorporating social and emotional learning methods to meet student IEP needs. This year is the school’s first in operation.