Source: Sherman Publications

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Clear Lakers give their brains a boost

by Andrew Moser

January 25, 2012

Emma Kerbelis (background) and Trent Brown (left) turn Jacob Buckhannon into Frosty the Snowman. Photo by A. Moser.
Who said reading and math isn't fun.

Six students at Clear Lake Elementary found out reading and practicing math over Christmas Break pays off as they were invited to an after school party on Jan. 19.

The students played games, ate a snack and made a rose bouquet out of Hersey's Kisses and toothpicks.

According to Special Education teacher Lisa Sabo, the six students participated in the "Winter Brain Bash."

"For every break we have during the school year, including summer, Christmas and Spring Break, we have on the (school) website activities for the kids to do," Sabo explained.

Sabo said a total of 10 students participated in the Winter Brain Bash.

Students must complete a reading log, a math log and choose an activity of their choice once a week.

Sabo said the activity choices were "real simple things," which could include counting from 50-100 by ones or drawing a picture of something fun a student did over the summer.

First and second graders have to read 75 minutes per week, while third, fourth and fifth graders read 100 minutes a week. Math must be practiced at least once per week by either using math practice sheets, visiting a provided math website, using flashcards or playing a math game.

"If they complete those, then they can turn in their packet of what they did and they are invited to the Brain Bash," she said.

Sabo said she implemented the program a year-and-a-half ago after finding a school district in Indiana doing a similar summer reading and activities program.

In order to inform the parents about the program, a newsletter gets sent home with students before each break explaining to parents how their child can participate in the program.

So far, participation has been minimal.

According to Sabo, 20 students participated in the summer program.

"During the summer we really want to have a bigger participation because we do want kids to keep up the continuum of learning during the summer so there are not any setbacks," she said.