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Nurturing A Love Of Music At Dallas Winds Band Camp

Jun 15, 2016
Dallas Winds Band Camp

With school in the rearview, kids in North Texas are turning their brains off and enjoying their summer. But, last week, some students in the Dallas Independent School District returned to the classroom in hopes of becoming more proficient at one of their passions – music. We decided to visit Dallas Winds Band Camp to see what the kids were learning and to find out what they think about their future with music. 

Mariachi music has a long history, dating back to 18th century Mexico. How do you get the younger generation interested in this old tradition of guitar strumming, violin playing and passionate singing? We checked out a mariachi summer camp for middle and high school kids at the University of North Texas at Denton.

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Nine out of 10 college freshmen from the top quarter of incomes graduate by age 24. But for low-income kids, it’s less than three out of 10. Writer Paul Tough spent six months at the University of Texas at Austin exploring why for his New York Times Magazine article, “The Graduation Gap.”

Gus Contreras / KERA News

Ninth-grader Joel Luera is a smart kid in a tough neighborhood. Sometimes other kids don’t get why he’s so studious. He loves to read – so much that he’s in a book club at W.W. Samuell High School in Dallas.

Joel is the latest kid to join KERA’s series Class of '17 – a five-year project following a group of North Texas students from 8th grade to graduation. It’s part of the national public media initiative American Graduate.

A growing trend at America’s colleges: Humanities majors are on the decline. Commentator Lee Cullum explains why that's cause for concern.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

There are more foreign students in the U.S. than ever before. Texas ranks third in the nation. That’s according to the latest Open Doors Report released Monday by the nonprofit Institute of International Education. The University of Texas at Dallas has the third-highest number of international students in the state. KERA visited the campus to hear from students who’ve made the decision to leave their home country in search of a higher education.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Tuesday’s opening bell on Wall Street was like a starting gun for investors after a long holiday weekend. Same goes for kids at the Greenhill School in Dallas.

They’re back in class and back to watching the market. But when you’re investing $100,000 in real cash, playing the stocks is more than a game.

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Otha Thornton, the new president of the National Parent Teacher Association, is in town this weekend attending the state PTA's Summer Leadership Seminar. 

He sat down for a few minutes with KERA News to talk about his goals for the 117-year-old organization.

Almost a third of college students will transfer schools at least once within five years, and many opt to go to Texas. The U.S. News and World reports that Texas, Arizona, and California schools are the most popular places for new transfer students. Out of Texas schools, the University of North Texas, Texas State University and the University of Houston had the highest transfer acceptance rates.

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A new study by the Pew Research Center finds that technology is helping middle and high school students be more creative and  collaborate with others. But the same survey of teachers also finds that kids are more likely to take shortcuts and have a hard time understanding complicated and longer material.

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It took ten rounds to stump Plano eighth grader Chetan Reddy. He had no trouble in the first few rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee championship final, but in Round 10, the word kaburi (a type of land crab) tripped him up. He exited the stage to a standing ovation.

Chetan finished the Bee tied for seventh place. Arvind Mahankali from New York won the title with the word knaidel.

ScrippsBee / Flickr

Three students from North Texas are competing in this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee. And while all of them are very devoted to studying and drilling words, these kids have diverse interests and big dreams.

We've queried the three -- Ansun Sujoe of Keller, Chetan Reddy of Plano and Kerri Lu of Wichita Falls -- on their hopes for the future and Bee superstitions below. You can also hear them rattle off some pretty impressive words.

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The first two-day Summit on the Education of African American Students in DISD this past weekend got people thinking and talking about one of the most pressing issues, but the real challenge will be what comes out of that conversation, say those who attended.

“It’s always a great exercise to have a discussion about education, and it’s always a great exercise to talk about the inequities, but to me what’s most important is the action,” says Sherasa Thomas, a former teacher who now works as an education consultant for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

University of Texas

Texas public college and university enrollment rose by 22.5 percent between 2007 and 2012, but state funding fell.

Officials say 17 children have suffered minor injuries after one school bus rear-ended another in Dallas on the way to summer classes.