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3 things to make the summer fun and safe for #NOLAKIDS

Summer can be a very unsafe and vulnerable time for our children. Temperatures reach 90+, the last second line of the season has passed and unless your child is in a summer program, chances are they are bored. Playing outside can be dangerous as crime rates go up in the city.  The FBI reports that on average, crime increases nearly 10 percent between the months of June and August.  As a city we have already reached 91 murders compared to 70 last year at this same time. Our children also experience an equally dangerous summer learning loss— an average of 2 months is loss over the summer according to National Summer Learning Association.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can help to prevent our teachers from spending the first month of school reviewing old information, skills and content to get students caught up. Summer 2015 is not over and our students can come back stronger than before they went on summer break. Here is how:

1. #NOLAKIDS read
-Get a public library card and check out some books
-Read to your child for 20 minutes
-Write and illustrate your own books
-Join New Orleans Public Library summer reading challenge

Here are some of my friend Dooda’s favorite summer reads:
Shark vs. Train
Dragon’s Love Tacos
The Diary of a Worm (book we received at the National Charter School Conference through Scholastics Summer Reading Take-Home Program that includes very affordable Fiction/Non-Fiction books, think sheets and a journal.

2. #NOLAKIDS go to summer camp
-Check NORDC or call (504) 658-3000 for summer camps that still have open slots.

Required for Registration:
1. Proof of Orleans Parish Residency (copy of driver’s license or utility bill)
2. Proof of Income for one full month with a 2015 date (pay stubs, SSI or food stamp award letters).  If no income, a notarized statement to that effect.  (Proof of income and proof of residency may be the same document – pay stubs and award letters.)
3. Copy of a 2014-2015 report card
4. Registration fee (cash or money order only; no checks will be accepted)

STEM NOLA with Dr. Calvin Mackie
-Volunteer with organization like HandsOn New Orleans

3. #NOLAKIDS are learners and explorers 
-Explore your child’s talents in sports, science, the arts etc.
-Team up with others in your family and/or neighborhood to teach each other’s children your own talents (instrument, drawing, sports, cultural heritage, cooking etc.)
-Build your family tree and teach your child about their family heritage and stories of their ancestors
-Take trips to historical sites, museums, art galleries, and visit college campuses
-Practice a new language(s)— Learn 5 basic words/phrases per week
-Contact previous teacher to find out what areas of development to focus on
-Contact new teachers to find our which areas of develop to prepare for the new school year

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