DOWNEY - As the school year came to an end last week, we couldn't stop thinking about the freedom that summer would bring to us.However, now that summer break is officially here, a lot of us don't know what to do with ourselves. "I'm bored" statuses are a common sight on our Facebook news feeds, and the first few days of summer break have already passed by in what seems like the blink of an eye. Just because you haven't planned ahead for summer activities doesn't mean that you have to stay at home all day long. There are plenty of ways to have fun and be productive. All teens are welcome to sign up for the summer reading program at the city library. After reading a total of 12 hours, participants will receive various prizes and be invited to a pizza party on July 29. You can read anything that interests you: graphic novels, magazines, and even required reading for school. Best of all, this program is free. For rising sophomores and juniors, preparing early for your upcoming standardized tests will help you get ahead in the college admissions process. It might sound like a dreadful idea to pick up a pencil during the summer, but you certainly don't need to take a full-length practice test every single day of the week. Rather, studying in reasonable time intervals is a more efficient way to register information to your brain. A wide variety of study aids can be purchased through Amazon.com at affordable prices. Better yet, try asking older friends if you can have their used materials for a fraction of the original costs. Of course, summer wouldn't be complete without watching some movies. In 2001, the first Spy Kids and Harry Potter films were released. This year, both of these popular film series will surely leave lasting impressions in 3D. In "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World," Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, and Antonio Banderas take on their original roles from the previous three films. With the addition of Joel McHale as a television reporter and Jessica Alba as a top-secret spy, this film can be enjoyed by all age groups with the perfect mix of adventure and mystery. Be sure to catch this family film on Aug. 19 and relive your childhood memories of wanting to become a Spy Kid just like Carmen and Juni Cortez. Whether you're a devoted Harry Potter fan who has read the novels over and over again or a casual follower of the blockbuster films, everyone should watch "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2." If you've never had the experience of waiting in line for the midnight showing, why not try it for the final installment? July 15 is just a couple of weeks away, so make plans with friends and family if you're daring. Whatever you choose to do this summer, make the most of your time and have fun before another school year begins in September.
********** Published: June 30, 2011 - Volume 11 - Issue 10