Project Transformation is an eight-week summer literacy camp for elementary children in the 61st & Peoria neighborhood of Tulsa. The camp is staffed by college-aged Ameri-Corps interns, but it is supported entirely by volunteers from local United Methodist Churches. Faith has been a Partner Church for Project Transformation since its inception in 2007.
The magic of PT is its Reading Buddy program. Each morning, volunteers gather at 9:30 a.m. for an orientation. From 10 to noon they are matched one-on-one for half-hour reading sessions with up to four children. The volunteers don't read to the children... instead, they LISTEN while the campers read to them from books chosen especially to match the children's current reading abilities. Volunteers listen, help out with extra-hard words, ask comprehension questions, and generally try to foster a sense of excitement about reading. The children truly respond to the personal attention. They will eagerly seek out repeat volunteers; often recognizing "their" buddies a full year later. The program gets great results, too: 98% of our campers who attend regularly will maintain or improve their reading levels over the summer lag. Some will improve up to two grade levels in the eight weeks! Furthermore, campers benefit from two solid meals each day; daily art, STEM and recreation rotations; afternoon enrichment programs, and fun summer field trips.
The camp runs Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., through June and July. Next summer, you can support PT by signing up as a Reading Volunteer, by contributing a lunch, by volunteering to chaperone a field trip, by leading a Bible Study, or by donating money to support the camp. The entire budget is donation-based... all books, field trips, craft supplies, and recreation equipment, and guest honorariums are possible only because of individual supporters and churches.