Summer Reading Camp Could Increase Property Values

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. - A new summer reading camp could balance out home prices in Hendersonville, according to Mayor Jamie Clary.

Hendersonville has two title one schools, Gene Brown and George Whitten elementary schools. The area around the schools has a lower property value, and Mayor Clary said that likely won't change unless reading scores are raised.

"In Hendersonville, our property values are very much determined by how good the schools are there," said Clary. "In these two schools that have a little bit lower reading scores, you see the property values reflect that."

To raise the values in a more balanced way, the city raised money to start the S'more Summer Reading Camp. This first year, 19 students signed up for the camp. Three teachers were brought in to teach the students and allow them to read, rather than parents putting the kids in daycare.

"A lot of those parents, it's a single parent household," said Clary, "so they don't have time to concentrate on some of the after school activities, some of the after school homework, as some other families do."

Clary hopes the program brings up the reading levels at each school. He said this could take some time, but he believes others in the city will want to keep the program if the student's reading levels don't drop over the summer.

"We expect them to not slide backwards, which is a big phenomenon, the summer slides for these kids, because they often don't read any the ten weeks that they're out," said Melanie Hicks, director of the camp.

The money for the camp was raised through donations, according to Clary.

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