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PNS Daily Newscast - August 12, 2020 

Former VP Joe Biden picks Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate; some schools have science-based metrics for open classroom instruction.

2020Talks - August 12, 2020 

California Sen. Kamala Harris will be on the ticket with Joe Biden in November. Four states had primaries yesterday, and two had runoffs. Georgia and Wisconsin appear to have improved since last time.

CA Parent's Homework: Prevent Summer “Brain Drain”

June 29, 2009

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Now that most California kids are on summer vacation, child development experts warn that
boredom and "brain drain" are major risks to their progress the rest of the year. Research shows that kids lose the equivalent of two to three months of reading and math skills over the summer, and then have to re-learn it all in the fall.

Gary Ravani, president of the California Federation of Teachers' Early Childhood/K-12 Council, says teachers notice the difference in the classroom, because kids connect their new learning with their old learning.

"So, the more learning students have experienced in their everyday life and in their out-of-school experiences, the better the opportunity to have them connect with the kind of experiences that we offer in school."

According to Ravani, the best way to get kids to read is to give them something to read that interests them. Also, it's a good idea, he says, for parents to plan something a little bit out of the ordinary every week, and it doesn't have to be something expensive.

"Even, you know, non-academic activities – going to parks, going to museums, not only learning about the United States or California history, but actually engaging."

Ravani says that, with many districts canceling summer school this year because of budget constraints, it's especially important to keep kids active. Without prodding from parents, he adds, too many children end up staring at TV and computer screens, and not getting a good-enough workout for their bodies or their brains when they're out of school.

For suggestions on keeping kids busy this summer, check out the Web sites and

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA