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Program helps Greywolf students hurdle math, reading tests

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Sometimes, all a student needs is a little help.

That’s why Greywolf teachers are sending them to camp — minus the tents and bug spray.

Camp iCan is a new, seven-week program at Greywolf Elementary School aimed at giving students a boost with their math and reading scores.

Students using Camp iCan are those coming close to meeting standardized tests and needing just a little extra to get their scores up, says Sue Park, Greywolf’s Title I math specialist.

These students are in grades 3-5, are hand-picked by teachers and must have good attitudes to participate, Park says.

Halfway through the camp program, it seems to be working.

“The attendance has been phenomenal,” Park says. “Very few miss this. It’s so popular, we had kids forge applications.”

The camp boasts about 60 students in all, many of them arriving early — Sequim’s elementary school buses drop off Greywolf students at about 8 a.m. a half-hour before classes — to get their hands on math, reading, vocabulary, test-taking or critical thinking skill activities.

That includes card “Memory”-type games, computer assignments and even a bit of math Jeopardy.

Most people don’t think of Greywolf as a poor school, Park says, but she points out that about 47 percent of its students are on free or reduced lunch. Research, such as a study by Washington State University professor Donald Orlich, shows a direct correlation between parental income and students’ standardized scores.

Park says she and Greywolf principal Patty Grenquist collaborated on the Camp iCan idea weeks ago.

“Patty … is an innovator,” Park says. “If you have an idea, she says ‘Go for it.’”

Last week, campers who accumulated enough camp “days” received a special T-shirt.

Park says she hopes to see the camp program go schoolwide by spring break.

The program got boosts of its own, thanks to funds from Greywolf’s parent-teacher association, Costco, the Washington Education Association Olympic Council, Koenig Chevrolet Subaru, several individual donors and the student body general fund.

Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette.com.

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