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Tests. Homework. Reading assignments. Morning classes. In the summer?To many students at any age, this sounds morally wrong, and maybe a little nightmarish. Summer is the one and only time to finally relax, to hit the beach with books you actually want to read, to put your mind to the things that really matter, like video games and music festivals. The rest of the year is …

Brianna Brenon, 16, left, and Jenna Dashnaw, 17, students at Starpoint High School, took Next along on a July trip to Hersheypark, in Hershey, Pa., to see One Direction in concert. The girls also had a chance to meet the boys in the band.

SOMETHING TO READ“Rose” by Holly Webb; Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $6.99.Holly Webb is a best-selling author in the United Kingdom with books “Lost in the Snow” and “Lost in the Storm” and she has written a marvelous mystery, the first of a series, that may appeal to fans of Lemony Snicket and Harry Potter.All 10-year-old Rose knows of her past is that she was lef…

For any teenage fan of Adam Levine who finds joy in singing along with his music on the car radio and making Mom insane, Darien Lake Performing Arts Center was the place to be last Wednesday. The Maroon 5 Honda Civic Tour attracted a massive crowd, with dedicated fans forced to stand shoulder to shoulder on the packed lawn. The concert was an opportunity to close the summe…

The Common Application went live Aug. 1, and some very eager students have already submitted their applications.Not so fast. Early may not be better. There is applying before the deadline and then there is the crazed family, most typically a parent, who is intent on submitting all the college applications in August.While students can make changes once applications are subm…

Positive influences. Integrity. These are two of 40 assets developed by an organization called the Search Institute. They are building blocks that can help children develop in positive ways.When the Search Institute started conducting research more than 25 years ago, it might not have foreseen how popular its 40 Assets would become.The Search Institute was founded in 1958 …

SOMETHING TO READ“The Sasquatch Escape: The Imaginary Veterinary: Book I” by Suzanne Selfors; Little Brown, $15.99.Ten-year-old Ben Silverstein is sure that spending the summer living with his grandfather in the boring town of Buttonville is going to be the worst summer ever. There’s no swimming pool, hardly any other kids, and his grandfather’s idea of fun is Pudd…

There is a phenomenon occurring among young people involving social media, mainly Facebook. During the school year, there was an outburst of insane and rather disgusting acts that were videotaped and posted to the Internet in an attempt to be “Facebook famous.”So what exactly does being “Facebook famous” constitute? Clearly it means that one must make a fool out of…

I love superheroes. But I hold a special place in my heart for Superman.I grew up watching Saturday cartoons with this guy’s face on the screen. I’ve watched the original Superman movies (the first and second, but the others we don’t talk about) at least four times, and I still believe to this day and always will that Christopher Reeve really was Superman.With that s…

On Nov. 8, 2012, Google created one of its elaborate Google doodles to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Since then, I’ve realized just how popular these fairy tales are, even 200 years later. Here are 10 ways you can keep up to date with all of the newfangled versions of these fairy tales.1. Why not start by reading the original fairy ta…

SUMMER FUN FESTBryant & Stratton College will hold a Summer Fun Fest from noon to 4 p.m. June 29 at both its campuses, 3650 Millersport Highway, Amherst, and 200 Redtail Road, Orchard Park. Activities will include bounces houses, slides, obstacle courses, dunk tanks and more.SUMMER CAMPS• The Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, 180 Thompson St., North Tonawanda, will hol…

Battle of the Books … a competition where kids throw books at each other? Not quite. The Battle of the Books (BOTB) is an annual event held over the summer for kids entering grades six through nine. The very first BOTB was held Aug. 7, 1999, with six teams participating in the event that year.Last year, the Marilla Free Library took the gold medal after competing against…

For 37 years, the Sound of America Honor Band and Chorus (SOA) has been performing professional-level concerts as part of its annual summer good-will tour. The ensemble is comprised of high school and college-age instrumentalists and vocalists who exhibit outstanding musical distinction and honorable character, while being respectful, dependable and having a positive attit…

It takes determination to succeed in anything. Be it sports, writing or music, it takes hard work and elbow grease to accomplish goals. Without practice or ambition, it’s difficult to achieve anything. Two students from Western New York are showing that when you put your mind to it, you can do anything. Nate Doucette, a senior trombone player at Williamsville East High S…