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August 23, 2011 > Fremont summer Wonderopolis challenge ends

Fremont summer Wonderopolis challenge ends

Submitted By Adam Cochran and Katie Clark

The Wonderopolis Fremont Challenge kicked off June 20th offering local families the chance to explore their city by participating in a series of challenges tied to local wonders. Designed and executed by the National Center for Family Literacy, the worldwide leader in family literacy, the program helped Fremont families close the problematic summer learning gap in a fun and free way.

Through a series of simple weekly challenges, Fremont families learned more about:

Why Fremont's Niles District is sometimes called "The First Hollywood"

The city's many parks, including Fremont's own Olympic Gold Medal winner, Kristi Yamaguchi's Always Dream Play Park

How Fremont got its name and more on the town's colorful background

The history of Mission San Jose and the natural wonder of its Mission Peak

The bounty of produce at Fremont's three, year-round farmers markets

How residents get around town, and plans for the upcoming Warm Springs BART extension project

As part of its participation in the Wonderopolis Challenge, Fremont's Diaz family won a five-day all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., to learn more about our nation's history. Eight-year-old Olivia Graham, 6-year-old Maxwell Graham and their parents, Lucia Diaz and Tim Graham, traveled to the capital on Aug. 22, where they are most excited to see the dinosaurs at the Smithsonian Museum. Lucia is a kindergarten teacher at Fremont's Maloney Elementary School and Tim works as a counselor for disabled adults.

The Diaz family completed all six challenges, including watching a silent film, exploring the Always Dream Play Park, designing a Fremont flag, snapping photos on the shores of Lake Elizabeth, enjoying a farmers market and riding bikes along a nature trail. Family members said they decided to participate in the Wonderopolis Fremont Challenge as a way to turn off the TV and tune into their local community during the summer. Lucia Diaz, mother of the Wonderopolis Fremont Challenge's winning family, says, "We really enjoyed all the challenges and made an effort to ride our bike to the challenge sites. The one we enjoyed the most was attending the Fourth of July parade because Olivia marched in the main parade with the Girl Scouts, and Max marched in the Glenmoore parade with the Boy Scouts. We really felt like we were an important part of our city."

"Seeing Fremont through the eyes of the families who live there - whether by reading a poem they wrote about Lake Elizabeth or seeing a drawing of flowers they bought from local famers - has been amazing validation of the power of this program. We're confident that this program's most important lesson, that learning should be fun and integrated into everyday life, will stay with the families who participated in the Wonderopolis Fremont Challenge well beyond its close," says Emily Kirkpatrick, NCFL Vice President.

The National Center for Family Literacy has numerous programs in which families throughout the Bay Area and nationwide can participate year-round. Wonderopolis is a national online program that offers a "Wonder of the Day(r)," a fun, daily post that solves an everyday mystery like "Why is the sky blue?" or "Are all ladybugs ladies?" hosts free activities, such as an interactive Literacy House that suggests learning activities related to everyday household objects that families can embark on at home anytime.

The Wonderopolis Fremont Challenge was made possible thanks to the generosity of:
Toyota: For the last 20 years, NCFL and Toyota have worked together to develop innovative program models serving families in 50 cities across the country. A grant from Toyota supported the 2011 Wonderopolis Fremont Challenge. Verizon: NCFL and Verizon have partnered for 11 years to create technology-driven resources. NCFL is a content partner of, which works with national education organizations to offer comprehensive teaching and learning resources. The national Wonderopolis program is supported by a three-year grant from Verizon Foundation

For more information about Wonderopolis, visit

The National Center for Family Literacy is the worldwide leader in family literacy. For more information, contact 1-877-FAMLIT-1 or visit

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