Friday, August 5, 2016 was a day to commemorate for Aldersgate, UNC Charlotte, the Johnston YMCA and Windsor Park Elementary – students and educators alike.
A luncheon was held in the Aldersgate Fellowship Hall to celebrate the first of what will be many successful summer reading camps at Aldersgate and Windsor Park Elementary.
For four weeks, 36 energetic and curious second- and third-graders were welcomed by Aldersgate and specifically 18 elder residents – to teach, and be taught, mutually rewarding lessons.
The students beamed as they entered the room and spied their reading partners. Teachers, YMCA staff and representatives of Aldersgate, UNC Charlotte, and the Reemprise Fund within the Foundation For The Carolinas – the funding source that helped make it possible – applauded the shining stars of the pilot program. The enthusiasm was palpable; the young and the young at heart were indeed the "heart" of the program.
"The summer reading program is designed to foster a love of books while also offering an intensive, research-based reading intervention," said Ellen McIntyre, Dean of the College of Education at UNC Charlotte. "The reading component is just one part of a summer camp experience filled with sports, games, swimming and a healthy living curriculum. Together, Aldersgate, UNC Charlotte's College of Health and Human Services and the YMCA are going to make a significant difference in the lives of the children we reach."
Of course, it was a win/win for Aldersgate.