It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s the Laurel School of Princeton’s superheroes, the children at the Laurel School’s Planet Protectors Summer Camp.

This unique experience is created around the curricula that help children with dyslexia excel at the Laurel School. It’s a healthy mix of academics wrapped in good times with other kids and with Laurel School teachers and administrators.

“Last year, the kids requested I take the role of ‘gym teacher,’” said the school’s executive director, Gordon F. Sherman, Ph.D. “Research by John Ratey, Ph.D., has shown that physical movement facilitates learning. I had a great time showing the kids how to move around and exercise. We learned to throw a football and baseball, use the jungle gym, and more. It’s the best ‘job’ I’ve ever had!”

And Dr. Sherman has had some impressive posts. The Newgrange School of Princeton recruited Dr. Sherman from the International Dyslexic Association (IDA), where he served as president. He was recruited, in part, because of his neuroscience research about the differences in the brains of dyslexics, done at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The Laurel School is an independent school, an offshoot of the Newgrange Organization that is charged with working exclusively with bright dyslexic students.

The summer enrichment program, Planet Protectors, is structured for the benefit and sheer enjoyment of children with dyslexia, in grades one through eight. It runs from Monday, June 30, to Friday, July 25, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Campers will explore and learn about planet earth and how to protect it.

“Woven into the fun of a summer camp experience is the Orton-Gillingham® and Wilson Reading® approach to academics,” explained Laurel School Director of Education Dee Rosenberg, who served as president of the New Jersey branch of IDA. “There will be skill development in math and reading that provides instruction by expert teachers using those and other evidence-based multisensory, structured language — MSL — programs. Our academic school year teachers also teach our summer camp children, so they’ll show how the fun camp activities are supported by academics.”

The Laurel School’s teachers are extremely impressive: few school-age programs include a science teacher who has a doctorate in biology. The other teachers are certified in MSL programs, have done advanced training and/or research in their specialties, and have other notable credentials. These are the same teachers who run the camp.

Planet Protectors activities will take place outside as much as possible. Activities in the past have included a visit to an organic farm, planting a garden, growing and observing a worm farm, making recycled paper and edible aquifers, and experimenting with hydrophobic sand. Campers also visited Princeton University Community Garden and had a visit from the Watershed Ambassador, funded by the state of New Jersey.

Planet Protectors enrollment is open now. Contact the Laurel School of Princeton for more information: 609-566-6000.

The Laurel School of Princeton, 407 Nassau Street, Princeton. 609-566-6000. See ad, page 16.

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