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Camps No Longer Mandatory For Struggling 3rd-Graders

North Carolina’s third grade reading law gave parents, teachers and students a lot of anxiety this year about the requirements to move on to fourth grade. Summer reading camps for struggling readers were a requirement. But those reading camps are no longer mandatory. 

Thousands of third graders across the state are spending summer days in school getting extra help on reading. A new state law required them to do that because they weren’t reading at grade-level. 

At least, that was the case until state lawmakers changed the law in early June. Now, it says schools should merely encourage struggling students to enroll in these camps. Many summer camps started mid-June and parents hadn’t gotten the word. 

Children who attend the summer camps must still show they’re reading at grade-level to advance to fourth grade. Those who don’t will attend fourth grade classes, but have a retention label that requires them to complete 90 minutes of uninterrupted reading instruction every day.

Lisa Worf traded the Midwest for Charlotte in 2006 to take a job at WFAE. She worked with public TV in Detroit and taught English in Austria before making her way to radio. Lisa graduated from University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in English.