Discovery Park of America

Union City, Tennessee’s Discovery Park of America has announced a more than half million dollar expansion with the addition of the Children’s Discovery Garden.

Garrison Institute looks a little like Hogwarts. The retreat center is housed in a former monastery amid tranquil green hills overlooking the Hudson River, 60 miles north and a world away from New York City.

Inside the airy chapel on a recent summer afternoon, about 35 educators from the U.S. and at least five foreign countries are seated quietly, shoes off.

Nadezhda Prokudina 123rf

On Sounds Good, Dr. Michael Bordieri and Tracy Ross discuss methods of easing the transition from summer back to school for K-12 and college students.

This winter, Jameria Miller would often run to her high school Spanish class, though not to get a good seat.

She wanted a good blanket.

"The cold is definitely a distraction," Jameria says of her classroom's uninsulated, metal walls.

Her teacher provided the blankets. First come, first served. Such is life in the William Penn School District in an inner-ring suburb of Philadelphia.

The hardest part for Jameria, though, isn't the cold. It's knowing that other schools aren't like this.

Every morning, the familiar routine plays out in hundreds of thousands of classrooms: A teacher looks out over the desks, taking note of who's in their seats and who isn't.

On any given day, maybe there are one or two empty chairs. One here, one there. And that all goes into the school's daily attendance rate.

But here's what that morning ritual doesn't show: That empty desk? It might be the same one that was empty last week or two weeks ago. The desk of a student who has racked up five, 10, 20 absences this year.

photo provided

Hopkins County's Pride Avenue 4th Grade Teacher Steven Bauer has initiated a series of podcasts devoted to the teaching profession with a focus on topics that he wished had been covered in class before experiencing them firsthand while teaching. He speaks with Kate Lochte on Sounds Good about these topics, including how to build relationships with parents, cultural differences when interacting with students and who a first-year teacher should make friends with right away.

Oscar Cross Boys & Girls Club of Paducah, Facebook

 The mission of the Oscar Cross Boys & Girls Club of Paducah is to enable young people to be productive, responsible and caring citizens. The organization recently announced the June 1 closure of their midtown facility, which means a consolidation of young people into the newer Park Avenue location. WPSD Local 6 Anchor Todd Faulkner is President of the Board of Directors and joins Kate Lochte on Sounds Good to talk about the closure, the challenge in overcoming financial struggles and how the organization helps give life skills to kids who need it most.

The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is transitioning leadership with the retirement of Dr. Stu Silberman and the selection of his successor Brigitte Ramsey. Ramsey has been Associate Executive Director since last May. Together, they're touring the state and last night they were at Barkley Lodge in Trigg County with committee and community members as well as local educators. 

Dr. Ajay Das, LinkedIn

We conclude a new series of reports called Racer Scholar Profiles, highlighting Murray State Faculty research, scholarly and creative activities across colleges and schools, with Assistant Professor in the Department of Adolescent, Career and Special Education: Dr. Ajay Das. His research centers on inclusive education for students with disabilities through post-secondary education. Dr. Das speaks with Kate Lochte on Sounds Good about his findings.

William Faulkner wrote, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." And that's never more true than when people start arguing over how American history should be taught in school.

The current fight involves the Advanced Placement U.S. history exam. Nearly half a million high school students took the test last year, hoping to earn college credit.