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Academic Success - Summer Literacy Infusion


Summer Literacy Infusion (SLI) is designed to mitigate summer learning loss by providing opportunities for elementary-age students to practice literacy skills at camp, build home libraries, and develop an enjoyment of reading. The YMCA of Greater Charlotte has been working in partnership with Read Charlotte to embed literacy practices in summer camps across Charlotte-Mecklenburg since 2017. Literacy activities are integrated into traditional summer camp programming 4-5 days per week for one hour each day. Certified teachers serve as literacy coaches to plan and facilitate activities, as well as to support camp staff in implementation of literacy practices.


SLI has been intentionally designed to fit within a variety of camp programs operating half or full day and serving students in grades K-3. Local agencies currently implementing SLI in the greater Charlotte area include YMCAs, churches, day care centers, park & recreation sites, and non-profit agencies.

Camps are selected to participate through an application process each year. Returning camps are selected in February, and new camps are selected in March. Agencies interested in learning more about the model should email SLI@ymcacharlotte.org to request information.


Camp activities include reading aloud, writing, independent reading, and literacy games. 
Staff are trained on how to use Active Reading strategies during read alouds and independent reading: Asking Questions, Building Vocabulary, and Connecting to the Child’s World. This method of shared reading aligns with local efforts led by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and has been shown to increase students’ vocabulary and comprehension skills. 

In addition to integrating literacy activities within camp, the SLI model also includes a focus on family engagement. We promote and incentivize reading at home, and books are provided to help build home libraries through our book-a-palooza events.

Campers in rising grades K-5 are evaluated using DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) at the beginning of camp, and students who are still in attendance at the end of camp are given a post assessment to measure change in reading skills. We also track home reading to measure family engagement, and feedback is collected from staff, parents, and camp directors to inform program improvement and innovation.

To find out more information about the program, click here to view our 2022-2023 White Pages.


SLI has grown from serving 214 campers at 3 locations in 2017 to 2,828 campers at 38 locations in 2022. To date, the summer literacy infusion model has collectively engaged 7,187 campers in literacy learning during the summer months. Based on projected service numbers for 2023, the Y plans to invest approximately $9,400 per camp or $128 per camper.

To learn more about SLI outcomes, click here to view our annual impact report.