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Amazing Things

Amazing Things 259 194 admin

Finding safe, interesting web content can be a challenge for elementary learners.  National Geographic Kids offers all of the amazing people, places and things of the grown up version but downsized for kids.

Use the articles and activities as inspiration for a journal entry or an online vacation!


Memorial Day Summer Kick Off!

Memorial Day Summer Kick Off! 300 225 admin

Teaching the meaning of Memorial Day to your children can be a challenge.

To many Americans, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer, but to military families the meaning runs much deeper than a BBQ.

The simplest thing you can do is to explain that Monday is a day set aside to honor those who died in military service.  Many families choose to celebrate the holiday by displaying patriotic decorations or thanking current service members.

This weekend, to kick off summer AND celebrate the meaning of Memorial, try one of these activities…

  • Send a card or letter to soldiers through A Million Thanks at 17853 Santiago Blvd. #107-355, Villa Park, CA 92861
  • Create a Memorial Day craft using ideas pinned on the Fun Activities for Kids board at
  • “Plant” flags on a lawn, in a cemetery, or anywhere you have permission!

What to Read?

What to Read? 300 221 admin

Did you know kids enjoy reading more when they get to pick their own books? While choosing a book can be tricky, you can help your child find their “just right” book by offering titles and authors that have a track record of pleasing kids. Some of my kids favorites were found by looking at book lists from trusted folks. Here are some resources that are sure to help you find perfect elementary school books!

What is your child’s favorite book? Leave a comment below!

reading is fundamental logo

Reading is Fundamental is a the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the United States. RIF’s goal is to motivate young children to read by working with them, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life. RIF’s highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8.

Terrific booklists help you and your child find just what you are looking for!

elementary school books resource

Reading Rockets is a non-profit that offers a wealth of reading strategies, lessons, and activities designed to help young children learn how to read and read better. Their reading resources assist parents, teachers, and other educators in helping readers build fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.

With lists organized by theme – you and your child are bound to find the next “best book ever”!

Way to Go, YMCA of Greater Cincinnati!

Way to Go, YMCA of Greater Cincinnati! 150 150 admin

Summer Learning Program Assists YMCA in Becoming Finalist for Award of Excellence

ThinkStretch, a summer learning program for pre-k to sixth grade students, was featured as part of the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati’s award-winning YMCA Better Together Summer Program, was named a 2012 Excellence in Summer Learning Awards finalist.


PRLog (Press Release) – Mar. 26, 2013 – ANN ARBOR, Mich. — ANN ARBOR, Mich. – March 26, 2013 – ThinkStretch Summer Learning Program provided an essential element to YMCA of Greater Cincinnati’s YMCA Better Together Summer Program, which has been named as a finalist for the 2012 Excellence in Summer Learning Awards by the National Summer Learning Association. The YMCA Cincinnati’s summer program served over 2,500 youth in 2012.

YMCA branches received grade‐level aligned ThinkStretch summer learning workbooks to ensure that the children not only maintained skills gained during the previous school year, but also had the opportunity to increase skills in key areas such as math, reading, writing, and science. ThinkStretch has been an important component of the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati’s summer programming since 2009.

The YMCA Better Together Summer Program combined the ThinkStretch summer learning workbooks with field trips, meals, music, and art to strengthen students’ academic futures and work to close the achievement gap. The program was so successful, 94 percent of participating students said they planned to attend college. Independent evaluators indicated that students participating in the program achieved:
• 57 percent average increase in reading test scores
• 51 percent average increase in math scores

“ThinkStretch is proud to have been chosen by the YMCA to support their students and families,” said Donna Lasinski, Founder and President of ThinkStretch. “Stopping summer learning loss is a key piece in the puzzle to reduce the achievement gap.”

The Excellence in Summer Learning Award, given annually by the National Summer Learning Association, recognizes outstanding summer programs that demonstrate excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting healthy development for young people between kindergarten and twelfth grade.
The ThinkStretch program has been proven to maintain year end academic outcomes for math and reading in students, helps prevent summer learning loss, and keeps students engaged in learning all summer long.

Originally posted on

Get to Know ThinkStretch!

Get to Know ThinkStretch! 150 150 admin

Maybe you’re looking for something for your son or daughter to do over the summer months. Maybe you’re looking for a way to keep your child up to speed during the long break between two grades. If that is the case, you’re in the right place!

ThinkStretch Summer Learning Program exists to help your students transition from one grade to the next without losing valuable skills. ThinkStretch isn’t all drills and exercises like some workbooks, though – the ThinkStretch program encourages your student to learn through experiences and experiments, through conversations and creations. Unlike other programs, ThinkStretch is fun!