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The children shape clay into pinch pots during week six of Project Summer Stride.

Project Summer Stride: Week Six

After six weeks, the Project Summer Stride tutors and students have developed a wonderful rapport. The children are very antsy during the welcome activities as they constantly glance to see if their tutor has arrived. The first few minutes of tutoring time are always noisy as children and tutors exchange hugs and catch up on the week's events, but the room soon quiets down when the pairs settle into the tutoring routine. The tutors and children spend 45 minutes together each session. Tutoring time is different for each child because the tutors design the time based on their student's specific needs. Tutoring pairs might practice sight words, work on writing or focus on fluency and comprehension. Many different techniques and literacy activities are used during tutoring, but all the pairs read at least two books each time.

After tutoring and lunch, the childen became expert potters this week. Each child made a pinch pot using air-drying clay. Ms. Ashley visited from the Children's Room to lead the children in this art project. First, she read them Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick Hill, which tells the story of "Dave the Slave", a talented potter who was a slave in South Carolina in the 1800s. The children then shaped and sculpted clay into pots and platters which they decorated with shapes and letters. They proudly carried their clay creation home with them at the close of the day.

Each child chose three books to take home this week. The children always spend several minutes walking among the book choices before selecting the books they want. Usually, the bus ride home is spent reading their new books. However this week, much to the staff members' shock, a child suggested they play "The Quiet Game" as the bus pulled away from the library. The PSS children are very good at "The Quiet Game". Believe it or not, in the end it was a librarian who talked first!