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Summer learning efforts are important to youth

District 206 Community Education Summer Camp/Compass celebrated Summer Learning Day on July 9.

Community Education joins summer learning advocates from across the country in urging local school districts to spend some of the $100 billion for education in President Obama's economic reinvestment and recovery package on summer learning programs.

"The president has approved an unprecedented investment in education," said Ron Fairchild, executive director of the National Center for Summer Learning. "Summer learning programs are a proven educational innovation that will close the achievement gap. This is a historic opportunity to use new public dollars for summer learning programs and help thousands more children achieve their full potential."

Research shows that all children experience learning loss when they don't engage in educational activities during the summer.

To learn more about District 206 Community Education summer programs. visit www.alexandria.k12.mn.us or call (320) 762-3310.

Summer learning tips

The National Center for Summer Learning encourages parents to make the most of children's summer break with the following suggestions:

• Locate a summer program that fits your budget. Programs offered by schools, recreation centers, universities, and community-based organizations often have an educational or enrichment focus.

• The library is a great, free resource. Check out books that interest your child. Participate in free library summer programs and make time to read every day.

• Take free or low-cost educational trips to parks, museums, zoos and nature centers.

• If you are taking a day trip by car, choose a place with an educational theme. Camping is also is a low-cost way to get outside and learn about nature.

• Practice math daily. Measure items around the house or yard. Track daily temperatures. Add and subtract at the grocery store. Learn fractions while cooking.

• Play outside. Limit TV and video games. Intense physical activity and exercise contribute to healthy development.

• Do a community service project. Teach your child how to volunteer in your community and show compassion to others.

• Keep a schedule. Continue daily routines during the summer with structure and limits. The key is providing a balance and keeping kids engaged.

• Prepare for fall. Find out what your child will be learning during the next school year by talking with teachers at that grade level. Preview concepts and materials over the summer.

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