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Helping Kids Avoid Summer Brain Drain

It’s the first full week of summer vacation for many schools across the state, and that means some kids will start losing basic skills.

It's known as the Summer Brain Drain, or the Summer Slide. After weeks of vacation, teachers inevitably spend several weeks each fall trying to get their students back up to snuff in math and reading.

Pearl Chang Esau heads Expect More Arizona, a nonprofit that promotes education. She said low-income kids are especially prone to it. 

"Sometimes students and families of lesser means also don’t have as much of an opportunity to get out to places that have ticket prices – things like museums or even the zoo or science center," Chang Esau said. "They just have less exposure to things like that."

Chang Esau recommended taking steps during the summer to help keep your kids sharp.

First, read to them. The library is free.

Second, use everyday trips to places like the grocery store to practice math. Use a trip to the beach as a chance to study ocean habitats.

Third, find a summer camp. 

KJZZ News Director Peter O’Dowd finds something alluring about Phoenix and public radio, as if they have always been a part of his destiny.O'Dowd, who oversees all daily editorial direction of the KJZZ newsroom, took on the role of news director in February 2011, after serving as an assignment editor and reporter for the station since 2009.