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Photo Gallery | Little journalists report on exciting adventures

In today's socially media driven world where everyone's a reporter, students at Excel Charter Academy get a chance to put on their reporter caps while sharpening writing skills during the summer months. The next Katie Couric or Matt Lauer may be among these aspiring journalists from Excel’s Camp Read & Write, a camp aiming to keep kids focused on learning over the summer months by engaging them in fun and educational experiences that motivate students to improve their reading and writing skills.

By filling their summer days with exciting things to see and do, 25 second through fifth grade students will be inspired to explore new ideas, read and learn more about interesting topics, and enjoy writing about a number of experiences. Their first fact-gathering experience for a writing assignment took place last week at the Children’s Museum. Student's also had a chance to visit John Ball Zoo, Frederik Meijer Gardens,  VanAndel Public Museum and the Kentwood Public Library.

Here are some of the poems that the students wrote during their field trips:


The Library

By Ethan Britton, Age 8 (from the Kentwood Library visit)

The library is big.

The library is quiet.

The library has a lot of books.

The library has a big, big book.

The library is the best place.

That’s why I like the library.


Tapir Teaching

By Vanessa Nguyen, Age 8 (from the John Ball Zoo visit)

I’m learning about a Tapir.

His favorite food is leaves.

He’s half horse and half rhinoceros.

He has sharp teeth.

He has big toes.

He also has a long tongue.


The Bald Eagle

By William Vuong, Age 7 (from the John Ball Zoo visit)

The eagle

Yellow beak, brown body, and white neck.

The eagle likes staying on the nest,

But the special bird was being quiet.


Upset Dog

By Shelton Rodriguez, Age 11 (a Haiku poem inspired by the Laura Ford Exhibit at Meijer Gardens)

The dog got upset

Because they wouldn’t listen

So he ate them all


Bird Feeding

By Isabella Williams, Age 8 (from the VanAndel Public Museum visit)

I saw some birds in glass.  It was really cool!  Some were on its nest, and some were flying.  There was some owls, cardinals, crows, sparrows, robins, hawks, gold finches, and blue jays.  I saw a lot of birds.  I even got to see some different kinds of eggs!  The kinds that I saw were sparrows, cardinals, and gold finches and that was really cool to see.


I Knew it was Summer

By Rebecca Wright, Age 8 (prompted writing based on lesson to include descriptive details)

I knew it was summer because…

On Monday, I saw one butterfly flying in the blue sky.

On Tuesday, I saw two people having a cold water balloon fight.

On Wednesday, I saw three people on a cool vacation.

On Thursday, I saw four white and black bald eagles standing on a nest.

On Friday, I saw five people walking their cute dogs.

And that’s how I knew it was summer.