Summer reading program wraps with Recoil visit

·2 min read

Aug. 2—VALDOSTA — A jump in students' reading levels made a trip to Recoil a fitting ending to the Summer Learning Loss Prevention program.

Carlos Hundley, head of the Learning Loss Prevention program and Advancing Valdosta volunteer executive director, chose to take his summer pupils to the trampoline park at the behest of the parent volunteers.

"Doubtless, that all 22 students, who consistently attend the program for six and half weeks, worked hard to achieve, and are more than deserving of any kind of reward. Advancing Valdosta, Inc., along with the parent volunteers, were happy to oblige and reward these young people," he said.

From his observations and communication with adult volunteers and Jenna Shaw, Valdosta State University Department of Education intern, Hundley said he feels as though the students have an increased interest in core academic subjects such as reading, math, grammar, parts of speech and arts and crafts. The quantitative results of the program won't be seen until they complete their standardized testing once the school year starts.

"The true barometer as to what degree of academics progress was made by the students who participated won't be until they begin taking evidenced-based school assessments like their grade-level Lexile or reading tests, the Star math and reading tests for middle grades and then the Georgia Milestones Test in the spring of 2023," he said.

"I am confident that the students in this summer's Learning Loss Prevention Program will make significant gains, even if it's minimal. Progress is progress, and that is the goal — academic or learning progress."

Just because the summer is over doesn't mean his work is finished. Hundley plans on continuing to mold young minds with the after-school tutoring program Help with Homework, though he is currently displaced due to the Mae Wisenbaker McMullen Southside Library, the program's mainstay location, being renovated.

"Although the Southside Public Library, our nonprofit organization's host site, will soon undergo renovations, there is a current search for an adequate location to house programs such as Help with Homework after-school tutoring/ mentoring program, Summer Learning Loss Prevention and other board-approved activities," he said.

Kathy James, manager for the Southside Library, confirmed that facilities will be closed, and renovations began Aug. 1. The library will not reopen for "about 10 months."

For more information and updates about the Summer Learning Loss Prevention and Help with Homework Programs, contact Hundley at (229) 262-9982.