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Eat out, raise money, help kids

Eat out, raise money, help kids

ATHENS, Ga. -- You can do your part this week to curb Georgia's high school dropout rate. All you need to do is eat at one of your favorite restaurants.

On Thursday, Aug. 23, proceeds from restaurants across the state will be donated to Communities in Schools of Georgia, an organization that encourages young people to complete their education and succeed in life.

The sixth annual Dine Out for Kids event hopes to exceed last year's total of $30,000 for children in the state.

Communities in Schools, which has chapters across the country, provides mentoring and after-school services, including parent education, literacy programs and youth leadership opportunities.

Participating Dine Out for Kids restaurants in the Athens-Clarke County area include:

Protect Your Kids and Pets from Summer Heat

Protect Your Kids and Pets from Summer Heat

Summer in the south is officially here! With rising temperatures, it is important to take steps to protect those around us who might be vulnerable to the heat, like our children and pets.

Did you know that we lose heat by sweating? Water literally evaporates into the atmosphere and sucks the heat out of our bodies. Children produce even more heat than adults. This is because they have more body surface for their height. Children are also closer to the ground – and to hot pavement. They can easily become dehydrated or overheated.

Here are some tips to keep your children and pets safe in the heat.

Ga. Connections Academy holding more information sessions

Ga. Connections Academy holding more information sessions

ATLANTA -- Georgia Connections Academy, the state's first public virtual charter school, has planned more information sessions across the state.

The tuition-free school, which recently earned accolades from the parents of current students, is expanding from K-8 to K-12 for the 2012-13 school year.

"Good things are happening in public education, and we're proud to be a leader in the future of great schooling in our state," GACA principal Heather Robinson said in a statement. "We look forward to welcoming more elementary, middle and now high schoolers next year."

Enroll your child in Georgia Connections Academy

Information sessions in metro Atlanta include:

Ga. Connections Academy gets high marks from parents

Ga. Connections Academy gets high marks from parents

ATLANTA -- Georgia Connections Academy has made the grade.

The state's first free virtual charter school received very positive feedback from the parents of its students during the 2011-12 school year.

Almost 90 percent of the parents who responded to a survey gave the school a grade of either A or B, and 92 percent they would recommend GACA to other parents. Eighty-five percent of parents said they were more satisfied with GACA than with their children's previous schools.

About 52 percent of the school's 610 families responded to the survey, according to GACA officials.

"Our parent satisfaction survey really illustrates our commitment to accountability," principal Heather Robinson said in a statement. "We value this parent feedback and use it to help make our virtual school program better. I am very pleased with the results, in particular the positive feedback about our teachers and the curriculum."

Smart Lunch, Smart Kid distribution sites

Smart Lunch, Smart Kid distribution sites

ATLANTA -- Do you want to help Action Ministries' Smart Lunch, Smart Kid summertime lunch program?

RELATED | Help a local lunch program this summer
PHOTOS | 11Alive helps Smart Lunch, Smart Kid

The program is always in need of several items, including:

* Sandwich bread
* Individual bags of chips, pretzels, cracker, trail mix, etc.
* Individual fresh fruit or bags of fruit snacks
* Water bottles and juice boxes
* Sliced cheese, ham and bologna
* Ziploc sandwich bags
* Brown paper lunch bags

10 Ways to Prepare for an Emergency

10 Ways to Prepare for an Emergency

The official start of the hurricane season is Friday. Whether it's severe weather, fire, a lengthy power outage, evacuation, would you know what to do in any type of emergency?

To stay safe in an emergency, it is crucial to have a solid communication plan in place for you and your family. Read more from HealthWatchMD, powered by Piedmont, for our top tips for communicating in an emergency.

As Students End School Year, Boys & Girls Clubs Offers Way to Fight “Summer Brain Drain"

ATLANTA -- This month, millions of kids begin their summer breaks, looking forward to vacations, pool time and carefree days. But studies and experience show a lack of mental stimulation causes them to unlearn much of what they were taught over the school year.  Boys & Girls Clubs across the country offer young people a safe, exciting place to spend their summer months, with staff and resources to fight the effects of this “Summer Brain Drain.”

The reality for today’s kids is that many will find themselves with few structured activities, caregivers who are working all day, and too much unsupervised television, video game and computer time.

President Touts Concerns Over Summer Learning

Also known as “summer learning loss” or the “summer slide,” this issue is a growing problem for American children.  In 2010, President Obama noted, “Students are losing a lot of what they learn during the school year during the summer.”