It’s been about a month since Booksie’s Holiday Reading Camp ended and we are still reeling from the whole experience. We welcomed 40 readers over the 7-week Camp and read more than 40 books.
For most of our readers, it was their first time at Booksie. There were a few that were already members of our Book Club and so were already familiar with our reading space. The first few hours were quiet as readers were shy and didn't know what to expect. However, this did not last long. By snack time bonds they had begun to form bonds and we could already see alliances being created. It was interesting to see how easy it was for them to get comfortable with each other.
The 7-week Camp was focused on reading, writing and art and craft. Activities included Storytime with comprehension questions, penmanship aka handwriting practice, art and crafts, outdoor play and watching movies on Fridays. All these activities coupled with early morning puzzles, word games and trivia made this year’s camp a wonderful experience for both readers and facilitators.
Readers were very excited about Storytime, a core activity at Booksie. Everyday, facilitators and readers took turns to read and discuss the book of the day. All the books were African; written by us, for us. At Booksie readers are always encouraged to ask questions and this helped them to fully understand the books they read. For better understanding of the themes and learnings from the books, each story was paired with a writing and art and craft activity. We also spent some time learning how to sound out letters and digraphs and blend sounds during phonics. There were grammar exercises and spelling tests.
Readers were also very enthused about the art and craft sessions. That was by far their favourite activity. They followed directions without hesitation and were eager to show their creativity by adding in their own designs and twists. We created picture frames, paper houses, scarecrows, superhero masks and even complex dioramas.
We didn’t spend all the time indoors. Playtime was dedicated to football, playing catch, hula hooping, ampe and more. We introduced our young readers to Ghanaian games like 2,4,6,1,1 and ‘Ama, Ama close the door.’ These games taught them how to work as a team and also how to take defeat when your team doesn’t win.
Despite the fact that readers were learning a lot, they felt relaxed and at home at the Camp. They read, played, worked and interacted with each other without hesitation. I personally loved catching glimpses of the conversations between the 5-year-olds. With this year being my first experience at Booksie’s Holiday Reading Camp, I was impressed to see the progress readers made with their reading and writing. It was a fun yet educational time for both readers and facilitators and I am definitely looking forward to next year's Camp.
- Booksie is open for regular Book Club activities and after-school reading lessons during the week.
- The Saturday Book Club is also in session and in person Storytime kicks off again on October 9! Join us as Grace Dorcas Annan reads her new book ‘Thick, Tall, Trees.’ Call/Whatsapp +233 24 131 6433 to sign up