The Council Bluffs Community School District and its partners are fighting the summer phenomenon known as "brain drain," using one hand raised an active mind at a time.
The goal is to keep students from disengaging and making sure they are learning all summer. Luckily for them, learning is everywhere, not just in classrooms.
As one school official put it, summer school as we know it has fallen by the wayside. Now, it's all about summer camps and keeping the students engaged.
For example, during the summer months the Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo is a hot spot for families, but it is also doubles as a place to learn for Council Bluffs middle schoolers.
"We know that there is research that supports that there is a summer learning loss and that's what we're really trying to get rid of," Assistant Director of Zoo Summer Programming Arly Gates said.
As part of the the summer camp "Explore," participants are able to use the Zoo as a base camp. Some days they're checking out exhibits or learning about plants. Others, they can leave for the zoo for another field trip.
And for the students, getting up for day camp is not a bad way to spend the summer.
"We get to go to Explore," one participant said. "The zoo is a lot of fun."