Church to Host Summer Reading Program

The summer reading program at West End United Methodist Church in action last year, 2022. Photo contributed.


West End United Methodist Church will again be providing a summer reading program following its successful first year in 2022. 

“Fun in the Son” is a free weekly structured reading program designed for kindergarten, first and second grade students. The intent of the program is to mitigate “the summer slide” which historically takes place during the summer months when children are out of school and out of the practice of regular reading.

The volunteer staff encourages students to read each day, both during the program and at home.

The students in the program will practice literacy skills, participate in both indoor and outdoor activities and enjoy a snack time.

The primary focus this year will be students currently in kindergarten, first and second grades. The program aims to support the students’ goal of becoming proficient readers and help them maintain their acquired reading skills between grade levels.

Funding for the program is provided through the United Methodist Church initiative Congregations for Children (C4C) which supports literacy throughout the conference. 

Pastor Jane Leechford and School Administrator Dr. Erin West worked together last year to secure the grant. They were joined by WEUMC member Linda Donnell, a retired Moore County Schools administrator, who helped develop and implement the program. This year, Linda and Alex Wareham serve as facilitators of the program, drawing from the resources and experience of West and the lessons learned by the staff from last year.

The program will provide four weeks of sessions, Monday through Thursday. beginning June 19. There will be two sessions in June, a break for the July 4 holiday week, followed by two more weeks that will resume on July 10. The hours are from 9 a.m. to noon each day.

The weekly themes for the sessions will be Sports, Gardening, Cooking and Camping. The themes will provide a thread through all activities, including reading, writing, and phonics instruction and projects.

Grayce, a Reading Therapy Dog, will join the program two days each week with her handler Amber Vreeland.

If you have a child or student who would benefit from this program, or if you would like to volunteer and assist in the program, visit the church website at or contact Alex Wareham, program facilitator, at