BOOKTRAILS: AN ORGANIZATION THAT PROMOTES A LOVE OF READING
BookTrails is a non-profit organization that promotes a love of literacy in all people. Our programs create new ways to experience the joys of reading and writing. With BookTrails, our students are able to experience and feel as though they are the main character in the favorite story—whether it is building a survival shelter, running through a stream bed, or sketching in a meadow. By focusing on the use of reading and writing to teach environmental principals, our students are given a unique perspective to view both literature and the natural world.
BookTrails highlights the importance of science and literature in a well-rounded education. We recognize whichever path our students take in their futures, a strong background in reading and writing will be pivotal. BookTrails provides an unique program for local kids who have an interest in the outdoors and reading, fostering a love of both. Our programs strive to provide reading and writing enrichment to local children using memorable, hands-on experiences.
OUR MISSION AND GOALS
BookTrails’ mission is to foster literacy in all people and promote access to literacy programs for all children. BookTrails aims to design programs that create new ways to experience the joys of reading and writing through experiential learning.
The Organization shall be operated in a cooperative manner and upon principles applicable to cooperative corporations, associations, and non-profit organizations. In this regard, goals of the Organization shall include:
1. BookTrails will provide literacy education in the communities for which we serve.
2. BookTrails will identify literacy education needs in our communities and create programs to address those needs.
3. BookTrails will use reading and writing as tools to teach place-based lessons, centered around the heritage, culture, environment, and history of the area.
4. BookTrails will strive to ensure that every local child has the opportunity to participate in BookTrails programs.
The Summer Slide Initiative
Summer Slide Initiative is a program for students who are both ELL and on a READ Plan, to attend Reading on Ranches Camp. ELL students (English Language Learners) are children who are learning the English language. Students on a READ (Reading To Ensure Academic Development) Plan are at least two grade levels behind in reading. Students who are both on a READ plan and are ELL are particularly at risk due to the double disadvantage of trying to learn English while also being behind in their reading skills. The program was born in 2014 when BookTrails approached local educators, including reading specialists and English language teachers, to collaboratively create a program that helps to decrease the gap in education in reading and writing skills during the summer vacation.
The Summer Slide Initiative aims to serve children who are on both ELL and on a READ Plan at Strawberry Park, Soda Creek Elementary, and Steamboat Middle School. Our goal in 2017 is to serve 25 elementary-aged children and 12 Middle School-aged children. We are focused on children who are in first through fifth grade, as studies show that students who cannot read proficiently by third grade are four times as likely to drop out of school. 100% of funds raised for the Summer Slide Initiative be used towards serving at-risk, low-income students. The majority of our students come from Spanish-speaking households, but we have also served students from Russian households.
In the past, we have aimed to serve all students who are eligible the Summer Slide Initiative. We served 33 elementary-aged students in 2016 with the goal of serving as many students as possible. In 2017, we would like to focus on serving a smaller number of students (25) in order to provide more consistent and personalized education with the goal of lasting impact. This would include the introduction of follow-up (weekly or bi-weekly) sessions with Summer Slide students throughout the summer.