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Earlier this week, Homer announced a partnership with Dollar General and Horizons National to bring summer literacy opportunities to low income students. 

What is Horizons National?

The Horizons National Summer Enrichment Program is a network of community-centered academic summer programs that puts low-income public school students of varying abilities on the path to success. Horizons’ mission is to close the achievement gap by providing underserved children access to high-quality academics in an engaging summer program.  It has been well documented that gaps between middle and low income students grow more pronounced over the summer months, when upper income children may attend enrichment programs or summer camps while their lower income peers do not have access to the same costly educational opportunities. As a result, low-income students tend to fall further behind in reading and math during the summer months, while their more economically advantaged peers keep pace or even jump ahead.  This phenomenon, known as “summer slide,” is a major contributor to the achievement gap between middle and low income students and one of the most urgent educational issues in our country.

Summer learning loss leaves low-income students as much as three years behind their higher income peers by the time they reach fifth grade. In contrast, Horizons students gain an average of two to three months in reading and math skills during the six-week summer program, keeping them at grade level or above.

We are so excited to work with Horizons to make a positive impact in several communities!

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Design A Train Sweepstakes!
Enter to win a $100 VISA Gift Card!
TO ENTER:
1. Print the official train coloring sheet here: http://bit.ly/29rmwMY
2. Encourage your child to use his or her imagination and creativity to color and design a train.
3. Take a photo of your child with his or her creation and post the picture to our Facebook page. You may also tweet your entry to our Twitter handle, @LearnWithHomer.
We will randomly select a lucky winner! You may submit multiple entries. Contest ends July 14th at 11:59 PM EST.

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Choo-choo! We are still celebrating the release of brand new lessons, games, and songs at Camp Homer! Here is a fun weekend activity for your child – printable lesson packs! 

Have you joined Homer and friends on Camp Homer’s train ride across America? To download or update your Homer app, visit the iTunes App Store here: http://apple.co/29uyY2n

To print, click on the following links:

“What’s wrong with this picture?”
Can you help Nap find everything that is wrong with this picture?
Print here: http://bit.ly/29nTUU8

“Freight Train Jumble!” 
Cut and paste to create your own train.
Print here: http://bit.ly/29shhAz

“Passsenger – Letter Trace”
Trace the letters to practice writing and forming words.
Print here: http://bit.ly/29tzGZI

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Have you heard the news? Homer has just released brand new lesson packs! Camp Homer is about to go on a cross-country adventure via train. Children will learn about trains and travel, as well as engage in fun sing-a-longs and educational games! 

You can find our new lesson packs in the Homer app on your iOS device. To download, click here: http://apple.co/29uyY2n

To celebrate this release, we’ve come up with our Top 7 Children’s Books that involve trains – these stories are perfect for your child to read while on our newest Camp Homer adventure! 

1. The Goodnight Train by June Sobel
“All aboard for Dreamland! Hold on to your pillow because the Goodnight Train is taking off. Roll that corner, rock that curve, and soar past mermaids, leaping sheep, and even ice-cream clouds. You won’t want to miss a thing, so whatever you do, don’t … close … your … eyes!”
           
Buy it here: http://amzn.to/29ox1SG

2. Curious George Takes A Train by Margaret & H.A. Rey
“Curious George heads to the train station to take a trip with the Man with the Yellow Hat, but when he tries to help out the station master, he gets himself into trouble. George finds himself a hiding place—only to discover that his help is really needed when a little boy’s toy train is about to fall onto the tracks.”

Buy it here: http://amzn.to/29mjtWt

3. Locomotive by Brian Flock
“It is the summer of 1869, and trains, crews, and family are traveling together, riding America’s brand-new transcontinental railroad. These pages come alive with the details of the trip and the sounds, speed, and strength of the mighty locomotives; the work that keeps them moving; and the thrill of travel from plains to mountain to ocean.”

Buy it here: http://amzn.to/29k5k05

4. Two Little Trains by Margaret Wise Brown
“Two little trains are heading West. One is a shiny, streamlined train, moving fast. The other is a little old train, moving not so fast. Both will travel through long dark tunnels, through snow and dust. What else can they have in common? Much more than you think!”

Buy it here: http://amzn.to/29s4gFh

5. Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
“Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish.”

Buy it here: http://amzn.to/29gwkw3

6. Trains by Lynn Curlee 
“Thoroughly researched and very kid-friendly, Trains tells the history of the railroad, and in doing so, the history of America. This stunning book is one part history, one part art gallery, and a truly terrific ride!”

Buy it here: http://amzn.to/29inKZF

7. Terrific Trains by Tony Mitton 
“Big Trains, small trains, old trains, and new, rattling and whistling – Choo, choo, choo! Preschoolers will chuckle as a wacky animal crew toots the whistle and treats them to the delights only a train journey can offer. Clickety-clack, whizz down the track, slow to a railroad crossing, rumble through a tunnel, and finally pull into the station where passengers await the fastest holiday flyer of them all!”

Buy it here: http://amzn.to/29wJUtc

What are some of your children’s favorite train stories?

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