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June 21, 2011 > Niles chosen as first 'wonder' of Wonderopolis(r)

Niles chosen as first 'wonder' of Wonderopolis(r)

Looking for excitement and a challenge during summer months? The National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) is turning Fremont into a Wonderopolis(r) filled with challenges and adventures plus a chance to win an all-expense paid vacation. This is the first local program of its type in the United States and encourages families to explore their own neighborhoods, finding the wonder-ful places that often escape notice during the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman noted that the innovative Fremont Wonderopolis(r) program "is an amazing way for families to find the wonder in this amazing city we call home."

Beginning June 20, Fremont families can participate in a series of six weekly challenges that focus on unique community "wonders." Each challenge will help families to use their combined skills in reading, math, science and nutrition to enjoy a summer of exploration and fun. In addition, Wonderopolis(r) posts a national "Wonder of the Day(r)" at its website to solve a mystery every day such as "Can you really cook an egg on the sidewalk" and "Do Elephants ever forget?"

Emily Kirkpatrick, NCFL Vice President is excited about the latest venture of Wonderopolis(r). "The Wonderopolis program gives parents a way to show their kids that opportunities to learn in fun and interactive ways are everywhere they look - from their own backyards and the city they live in to our nation's capital. Fremont's rich history and the diverse backgrounds of its citizens of all ages made it a natural and dynamic choice for our first local program."

Fremont challenges will be posted each Monday at Families are encouraged to register and begin as soon as possible but can do so any time within the six-week Fremont Wonderopolis(r) challenge. Each week a new challenge will be listed; completed challenges should be submitted online each week at the same address.

Participating families who successfully complete at least three of the six weekly challenges will be entered to win a five-day all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. The trip provides an opportunity to learn about our nation's history so they can further understand Fremont's role within it. The prize will be awarded to one nuclear, or immediate, family living together. To be eligible, the winning family must be available to travel between Aug. 21 and 28.

The first Fremont Wonderopolis(r) Challenge is:

Why Has Fremont's Niles District Sometimes Been Called "The First Hollywood?"

(Hint: see this week's article about Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival and archives of Tri-City Voice at for more information about Niles, Charlie Chaplin and the history of Niles)

Some ideas of how to explore this "wonder," include:

Visit the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum to watch a classic silent film.
Borrow a silent film from a local library or rent one to watch at home.
Make your own silent film.

When finished, upload your challenge response - a photo, video, poem, an essay or whatever inspires you - to the Fremont Wonderopolis(r) site.

When visiting the NCFL website, look for other exciting activities including "Camp What-A-Wonder," a free, virtual summer camp that convenes every Thursday from June 23 through Aug. 11 and which offers activities related to everyday household objects.
The Wonderopolis Fremont Challenge is supported by a grant from Toyota. National Wonderopolis(r) activities are also supported Toyota and the Verizon Foundation. The National Center for Family Literacy, founded in 1989 and based in Louisville, Ky., is the worldwide leader in family literacy. For more information, contact 1-877-FAMLIT-1 or visit

Wonderopolis(r) can be found on Twitter and Facebook; a video is posted on YouTube and vimeo.
[KC1]Will instead link to legalese page on site.

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