Summer Reading Camp

When you teach a child to read it’s a ticket out of poverty.

In America, one out of every four children cannot read at a basic level.

Summer Reading ProgramsWhen you teach a child to read, you give them a ticket out of poverty.  Joy Ministries Reading Programs are changing the life direction of at-risk youth through camps and enrichment programs that teach children to read in low-income communities.  The program’s goals include:

  • Ensuring that children have the basic reading skills needed to succeed in school and in life.
  • Drastically increasing the reading skill level of at-risk youths ages 5 and up.
  • Acting as a Kindergarten readiness program to equip low-income children before they begin school so they start the school year ahead instead of behind.
  • Prevent the “summer slide” that students face in the summer months.

The Reading Camps and Enrichment Programs are taught by experienced teachers, and utilize a time-tested curriculum that drastically changes the reading abilities of the enrolled children.  The curriculum is a unique 36-step learning-to-read curriculum that utilizes carefully sequenced, systematic, explicit phonics instructional strategies to build fluent independent readers.

The Joy Ministries Reading Programs have been offered for over thirteen years in various HUD communities.  Children who enroll in the camp take pre-tests and post-tests to show the program’s success.  The program’s longevity and reliability is reflected in its exponential outcomes:

Summer Reading Programs

  • Over 46,000 hours have been invested teaching children to read that have gone on to graduate our program.
  • In 2016, graduating children showed an increase of approximately 48.8% in their reading levels.
  • In 2015, graduating children showed an increase of approximately 39.5% in their reading mastery level by the end of camp.
  • Approximately 1,300 low-income children have graduated through the Summer Reading Camps.
  • Approximately 60,000 summer snacks have been distributed to at-risk youths.
  • The Reading Programs have been offered in ten various HUD neighborhoods across Hampton Roads.


Lakia’s Story

Lakia was sixteen years old, but she could not read. Testing showed that she was reading at the level of retardation.  No one in her family had ever graduated high school, and she felt hopeless. Several years ago Lakia enrolled in our Summer Reading Camp program where she was able to go up several reading levels by the end of the summer. The reading camp not only increased her reading level, but it also helped her to believe in herself.  Two years ago, Lakia graduated from high school.  “Thank you for believing in me.  No one has ever believed in me,” she shared.

Saleema’s Story

Saleema, now a senior in high school, had failed kindergarten for the second time when we first met her. Her teacher was unsure if she could even handle first grade. After going through our 6-week reading program, she not only qualified for her next grade level, but her reading skills were stronger than ever. Teachers couldn’t believe the progress that she had made in just one summer through the Reading Camp. Saleema continued to attend the Summer Reading Camp program in the years ahead and became a very skilled and avid reader. Saleema is graduating this spring and aspires to become a neonatal nurse!