Welcome to Signum Academy

Signum Academy offers FREE interactive reading camps to young readers. Our reading camps utilize an exciting and engaging blended model with live, interactive, online sessions and locally organized onsite group meetings.

Summer 2018 Reading Camp Schedule

The Hobbit, by J.R.R Tolkien

The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

July 9 – 20, 2018

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

July 16 – 27, 2018

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis

July 23 – Aug. 3, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle

August 6 – 17, 2018

How Signum Academy Reading Camps Work

Signum Academy connects with local libraries, homeschool groups, schools, churches, and other groups across the country to offer free summer reading camps for school-age kids. At this time we are offering programs geared for middle school age kids. Younger and older kids will likely still benefit and participation age can be determined by the group organizers.

Campers must have access to a reliable internet connection and a digital device to participate in the live online sessions or to view the recorded sessions. Because we delve into the texts, we ask that our campers come to the camp having read the book. We realize some campers may not have read the book by the time camp begins, but they can still enjoy the camp experience and perhaps be inspired to read the book later.

Our goal is to engage passionate young readers and lead them in a deeper examination of stories they already love. We also hope to entice hesitant readers to find excitement in exploring good literature.

Daily Reading Camp Activities

Each reading camp is two weeks long and offers in-depth, age-appropriate, guided discussions about the book being covered in the camp. Each day of camp is split into two basic parts:

Daily Online Sessions

  • Taught by experienced instructors using Signum University’s free digital campus software (GoToWebinar).
  • Live sessions are interactive – campers can ask questions or make comments which the instructor will address in real time.
  • Campers can attend live sessions at home on their own or at your site alone or as a group.
  • Sessions are recorded for campers who are unable to attend live.

Local Group Meetings

  • Conducted by your onsite camp leaders.
  • You will build your own meeting curriculum by choosing activities and projects from the Project Packet developed and provided by Signum Academy.
  • Our activities and projects are designed to further discussion and exploration into the literature.
  • You can meet together every day or as few as three days each week. It’s your choice!

How to Set Up a Reading Camp Local Group

The good news is that setting up a local group for Signum Academy Reading Camps is VERY EASY AND FLEXIBLE — because we provide almost everything you need!

All you need is a coordinator and an onsite leader to organize, promote, and lead the camp locally. You may need to provide reliable internet connection and digital devices for campers to participate in the online sessions if they do not have their own access.

We Provide for FREE

  • Daily interactive video discussions with experienced instructors
  • A Project Packet with activity and project instructions, printables, and general guidelines and support information
  • Materials to promote the camp to parents and kids in your area

You Provide

  • A coordinator to organize and promote your camp
  • A leader to run meetings at your site
  • A reliable broadband internet connection and digital device/computer for campers without their own access
  • Basic creative supplies like paper, writing/drawing tools, and tape

Reading Camp Frequently Asked Questions

Do we need to buy books for the campers?

Every child in the reading camp should read the book before the camp starts, so that everyone is familiar with the story.

Options for obtaining a book include:

  • Purchasing a copy of the book for individual use.
  • Borrowing a copy from a public library, friend or family member.
  • Sharing a set of reserved copies acquired by the camp coordinator.

While we are working to secure funding for the purchase of books in the future, at this time Signum University is not equipped to provide free books to participants. If you would like to donate to help us provide books to children for future camps, learn how your financial contribution can help us here.

How much do Signum Academy Reading Camps cost?

Our reading camps are free for libraries, families, homeschool groups, book clubs and other groups. Simply register your group and provide your coordinator’s contact information to receive details about how to participate in the camp or camps of your choice.

Our camps are a perfect fit for summer reading programs, homeschoolers’ summer enrichment programs, and family explorations into fantasy literature. Everyone is welcome!

Can only libraries/homeschools participate?

Signum Academy Reading Camps are available to any group who wants to participate. Knowing some kids won’t have access to a participating group, we are happy to welcome individual campers under adult supervision to participate in our camps as well. Please note that the content is geared toward children of middle-school age (approximately 9 – 13 years old), but older individuals may certainly join as well. Group organizers and parents can also include younger children at their discretion.

In addition to library- and school-sponsored groups, some other groups who may be interested in participating include (but are not limited to):

  • Homeschool groups
  • Book clubs
  • Faith-based youth groups
  • Families who enjoy reading and discussing literature together

If you are part of or know about a group who would be interested in a Signum Academy Reading Camp, you can have them register using this Google Form.

If the reading camp is free, why do I need to register?

Registration helps both you and us in several ways.

After registering, you will receive:

  • Important information about accessing the daily video discussions.
  • The opportunity to participate in pre-camp sessions and instructional videos that can help you plan the best reading camp experience for your group
  • The Project Packet for each camp you are registered for which includes helpful guidelines, the recommended basic activity, supplemental materials and additional activities.
  • Links to downloadable promotional materials that can be shared or printed
  • Daily reminders with a link to the live, interactive video discussions
  • Listing on our map of camp locations to let people in your area know about the camp

Registration helps us by giving us a way to stay in contact with coordinators and learning how to improve and expand the camps in the future.

Can we incorporate a reading camp into an existing reading program?

Absolutely! Signum Academy Reading Camps are designed to be flexible and can easily be adapted to the needs and schedule of each participating group.

If you have questions about how to adapt one or more of our reading camps to your existing reading program – or if you simply want to share a creative idea that may be of interest to others – email us at camp@signumu.org.

Are you doing a camp on [book title]?

We launched the Signum Academy Reading Camps in 2017 with a two-week camp on J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, which brought together approximately 65 libraries and groups and more than 600 individuals. Given the success of that first camp, we are expanding our reading camp offering in 2018 to cover four books:

  • The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J. K. Rowling
  • A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle

We plan on offering a variety of fantasy and science-fiction literature through our program each year. We appreciate feedback on the current camps and suggestions for books you’d like to see in the future. If you have a suggestion, please email it to camp@signumu.org.

To learn about future reading camps and other free educational programs from Signum University, you can also sign up for our mailing list.

How can Signum run these reading camps for free?

Singum University’s educational philosophy is simple: We offer as much as we can for free, and charge as little as we can for the rest.

We do this by maintaining a small and efficient digital campus through which we deliver fun and instructional classes through the University’s three main branches: Signum Academy, Signum Graduate School, and the Mythgard Institute.

To achieve our goal, we rely on three primary avenues of support:

  • Financial contributions made by generous donors during our annual fundraising campaign and throughout the year
  • Administrative support provided by volunteers and work-study students
  • Grant funding to develop and expand specific programs, like the Signum Academy Reading Camps

If you would like to help us cover these costs and support future camps, you can do so by donating here.

If you are interested in helping Signum University provide no- and low-cost educational programs as a volunteer, please connect with us using our contact form or email info@signmuniversity.org.

About Signum University

Signum University is an online institution devoted to making high-quality education accessible and affordable, while connecting a vibrant community of academics and literature enthusiasts. We offer Master’s coursework and many free programs exploring works of imaginative literature (science fiction, fantasy, fairy tales, etc.).

Signum runs a wide array of public education programs through its Mythgard Institute, which specializes in innovative online teaching on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, as well as other fantasy and science fiction stories. Now, Signum is expanding our programming to kids through Signum Academy’s Reading Camp program.