East Tennessee summer learning camp prepares hundreds for next school year

More than 350 elementary students in Anderson County are back in the classroom for summer learning programs.
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 6:13 PM EDT

CLINTON, Tenn. (WVLT) - More than 350 elementary students in Anderson County are back in the classroom for summer learning programs.

The state funded initiative means kids get to sharpen their math and reading skills for free.

“The staff did a great job of playing catch up this year. But I felt like some of it may have gotten squished in and caused them maybe not to master some of the stuff that maybe they needed to,” said Leah Ditmer, a mom of three students at Grand Oaks Elementary School who are participating in the camp.

Her youngest is a rising second grader who struggled with reading.

“She comes home every day and she’s reading more and they have new stories, and she’s just so excited and I know that summer camp has definitely helped reinforce that,” said Leah Ditmer.

Her oldest, Lydia, is excelling in math right now and she wants her to continue to hone her skills.

Lydia Ditmer said, “I have a lot of fun when I get to learn with my friends and play around with them during recess.”

Similar to a regular school day, students are in class for six hours, get a lunch, snack and plenty of recess.

“This camp is both remediation and acceleration. So we meet the kids as where they are as an individual student and kind of help them from there,” said Lyndsay Foust, the summer camp coordinator.

But she and Leah Ditmer notice all the teachers’ and students’ hard work is paying off.

Every teacher that I’ve talked to has said, we’ve already seen growth,” said Foust.

Leah Ditmer said, “Any time you see your kids more confident in something, it just makes you as a mom, super happy.”

The elementary school summer learning program runs until June 25 in Anderson County.

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