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Students encouraged to read this summer

Students encouraged to read this summer

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Education has created a 2014 Summer Reading Challenge for students in all grades.

The program was announced Thursday at Timber Ridge Elementary School in Cobb County. Its goal is to close the achievement gap that widens during the summer months, when children often don't read.

"No student should have to start the school year having fallen behind," State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said. "That's what we know, and that's what we're committed to preventing, because that loss is preventable."

The challenge encourages students to read for at least 15 to 30 minutes every day. The GDOE outlined suggested summer goals for children based on their school years:

* K-2: 10 books
* 3-5: 8 chapter books
* 6-12: 5 fiction books and 5 nonfiction books

Community Sponsors

Pike Nurseries to host customer appreciation event

Pike Nurseries to host customer appreciation event

(WXIA) -- Atlanta-area Pike Nurseries locations will say thank you to their loyal customers this weekend with a special cookout.

On Saturday, May 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Pike will serve cold drinks and fresh grilled hot dogs to customers. Guests will also receive 20 percent off their entire purchases all day long.

Visit pikenursery.com to find your nearest Pike location.

'Don't go east, don't go west': Weekend construction alert

'Don't go east, don't go west': Weekend construction alert

(WXIA) -- "Avoid I-20 if you can." That warning, from Georgia Department of Transportation district construction engineer Shun Pringle, applies to Atlanta-area drivers this weekend.

Several road projects and lane closures will be in place along the east-west highway.

"We don't like to close lanes, but the work has to get done, and we have to take advantage of the good-weather weekends," Pringle said in a release.

Scheduled I-20 projects include:

* Two left eastbound lanes will be closed between Highway 138 (Rockdale) and Alcovy Road (Newton) from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for resurfacing.

* Two right westbound lanes will be closed between Bill Arp and Liberty roads (Douglas) from 8 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday for resurfacing.

* Two right eastbound lanes will be closed between Liberty and Bill Arp roads (Douglas) from 7 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for resurfacing.

Mellow Mushroom hosting Sports Authority shopping spree contest

Mellow Mushroom hosting Sports Authority shopping spree contest

(WXIA) -- In honor of its role as sponsor of the 2014 AJC Peachtree Road Race, Mellow Mushroom is hosting a contest for the runners, athletes and weekend warriors in metro Atlanta.

The Atlanta-based pizza chain has debuted its Mellow Sports Sweep contest. Based on the old game show "Supermarket Sweep," the contest will give two lucky winners the opportunity to go on a 90-second shopping spree at Sports Authority.

To enter, create a 15-second Instagram video using #MellowSportsSweep explaining why you should win the contest.

The grand prize includes two race entries into the 2014 AJC Peachtree Road Race, one night at the W Atlanta - Buckhead, dinner for two at Mellow Mushroom and, of course, the Sports Authority sweep.

Community Sponsors

Ga. Teacher of the Year to be announced Friday

Ga. Teacher of the Year to be announced Friday

(WXIA) -- The 2015 Georgia Teacher of the Year will be announced Friday during a special luncheon.

Georgia State Superintendent Dr. John Barge will reveal the winner at around 2:45 p.m. at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park.

The 10 finalists include:

Nick C. Crowder
Forsyth County Schools
Teaches engineering education at South Forsyth HS

Rhonda Lokey
Cobb County School District
Teaches 6th grade social studies at Campbell MS

Amanda Miliner
Houston County Schools
Teaches 4th grade at Miller ES

Paul D. Mixon
Heard County School District
Teaches journalism and economics at Heard County HS

Michelle Peace
Early County School District
Teaches Spanish at Early County HS

Discipline planned after Ga. school banner prank


CUMMING, Ga. -- The principal of a metro Atlanta high school is promising disciplinary action for students involved in an end of the year prank he called derogatory and unacceptable.

South Forsyth High School officials knew that senior pranksters would be up to something, but the kids managed to outfox them. They put a slip n' slide in the hallway, for sale signs on the principal's Jeep and a drop-down sign on the gym building. That large banner read "N---- we made it" – a line from a song by the rapper Drake.

Despite the fact that it was taken down in 3 minutes, the damage was done.

In a statement on the school's website, principal Jeff Cheney says the sign was posted without administrators' knowledge and was taken down as soon as it was brought to their attention.

What parents need to know about Minecraft

What parents need to know about Minecraft

ATLANTA -- Minecraft is one of the most popular video games for kids, who use digital blocks to explore their creative side.

But it can be confusing for parents and grandparents, especially since some younger children end up with nightmares after playing the game.

"You can kill creepers and zombies and they can kill you back," said sixth-grader Dakota Lawrence.

"The next minute, there could be something there and it freaks you out, whether it's a spider or a creeper or a skeleton," added classmate Piper Jones

"With creepers, if you actually get too close, they hiss and then explode." said sixth-grader Jessica Wilson

Lawrence, Jones and Wilson are students at Otwell Middle School in Forsyth County.