Education

Joel Ryan / AP

The first day of school can be traumatic. Reluctant high schoolers schlep unopened summer reading books aboard early morning buses. Kindergartners sob at being separated from their parents -- and vice-versa.

 

For students in Miami-Dade and Broward public schools, the first-day-of-school drama could be intensified this year by the solar eclipse that's also happening Monday.

 

It was the year 2000 and Maine's governor at the time, Angus King, was excited about the Internet. The World Wide Web was still relatively young but King wanted every student in the state to have access to it.

"Go into history class and the teacher says, 'Open your computer. We're going to go to rome.com and we're going to watch an archaeologist explore the Catacombs this morning in real time.' What a learning tool that is!"

Adrianne Gonzalez / WLRN News

Tamia Roberts, 17, dreams of becoming a cinematographer. She’s now a senior in high school and spends her free time writing scripts and building her YouTube channel to showcase her films.

Roberts is one of 1,709 students this summer who applied and were chosen for the Summer Youth Internship Program funded by The Children’s Trust in Miami.

“I learned to make connections and always take people’s business cards because you never know when you will need them again,” said Roberts.

Malala Yousafzai was only 15 when she was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan for campaigning for the education of girls. Now, she has been accepted to Oxford, one of the world's elite universities.

Malala tweeted, "So excited to go to Oxford!!!" She also congratulated other students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who received news Thursday about their university futures.

At Oxford Malala will study philosophy, politics and economics.

Adrianne Gonzalez / WLRN News

The after-school hours present each student with the possibility to socialize and learn new skills through extracurricular activities. Experts indicate that these can be valuable learning opportunities, but what happens if the students can’t afford after-school involvement?

Focusing on expanding access to after-school programs, The Children’s Trust in Miami is leading a collaboration with the U.S. Soccer Foundation to bring the program Soccer for Success to Miami-Dade. The program focuses on providing organized soccer and nutritional education to low-income families.

Some school districts are chafing under a provision meant to adjust funding based on cost of living.  They’re applauding an effort to study the system, but from different perspectives.

It's a fall tradition: Students don college sweatshirts and their parents, meanwhile, sweat the tuition bills.

One flash-in-the-pan movie this summer even featured a couple, played by Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler, who start a casino to cope with their kids' college costs.

Annual tuition hikes have been pretty much a given in higher ed, but recently, there are signs that the decades-long rise in college costs is nearing a peak.

Cathy Carter / WUSF Public Media

At the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary in Indian Shores, a dozen or so kindergartners gather for a pop quiz, next to a coop holding an injured bird.

“Name a bird that can fly,” asks teacher Victoria Rhodes.

“A vulture and a pelican," a student quickly answers.

"Now," Rhodes pauses, "name a bird that cannot fly."

Kleanish Reynolds, 6, raises her hand and offers "penguin" as one possible correct answer.

With computers returned to the discount list, Florida retailers are readying for back-to-school shoppers this weekend during the state's sales-tax “holiday.”

The holiday, which will run Friday through Sunday, is a large part of a tax-cut package (HB 7109) that lawmakers passed this spring. The package is projected to provide $91.6 million in tax breaks during the budget year that started July 1.

Holly Pretsky / WLRN

More than 60 volunteers gathered at Unity on the Bay in Miami to stuff backpacks Friday morning--more than 5,000 of them, according to Achilles Ballestas, one of the event's organizers.

The backpacks are for kids in need going back to school in South Florida and Haiti. 

"Recently it's taken a snowball effect," said Ballestas. "It's gone from a couple hundred [per year] to thousands." They've been stuffing backpacks every year for about a decade. 

Volunteers formed an assembly line complete with rulers, pencils, pens, glue sticks, and notebooks.

Florida Expands Financial Aid Program For College Students

Aug 2, 2017
Emily Michot / Miami Herald

As Florida students return to universities and state colleges this month for a new academic year, many will benefit from a major expansion of need-based financial aid.

Florida's main program aimed at students with financial need, known as “student assistance grants,” will expand to cover a record 234,824 students in the 2017-18 academic year, an increase of 112,495 students from last year, according to an estimate approved Wednesday by state analysts.

Jennifer Palma / UM Communications

What did you do during the summers when you were a teenager? Did you play video games? Did you spend your time at the pool or beach? Or perhaps you favored the park?  For 17 local girls, this summer has been all about learning computer science. 

Most of these future coders are in high school, though some are younger. And about half of them are in foster care.  It was a sunny Thursday morning in July when they got to show off all they had learned in the six-week college readiness camp, four of which were focused on data and computational science. 

Lindsey Kilbride

Seminole County is rolling out an app that acts as a panic button for school employees in an emergency.

With a tap of the app, an alert can be sent simultaneously to 911 and school employees. Maps of schools can be loaded into the app that sync with GPS allowing first responders to pinpoint where the call came from.

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