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On the Other Hand - And so it begins ... PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, August 04, 2013 12:00 AM

So I’m in the newsroom and it pops into my email. A note from John Edinger about school registration. The next day the one from Franklin Elementary came in.

Where did the summer go?

With their suits still dripping from a day at the pool, students will begin the process of a new school year. Parents far and wide are secretly giggling and high-fiving each other. They will get their daytime hours back.

I loved the start of school. I was ready by the time it rolled around. Summer seemed to last a bit longer then. No, this isn’t a story about the good old days, even though I could tell it with the best of them.

First, you’d get your classroom assignment and your workbooks. Oh, those shiny new workbooks. I’d thumb through them eager to see what I was going to learn in the next year. You’d also get the coveted school supply list.

I loved getting all the new supplies. In true geek fashion, I would arrange, rearrange and start over, trying to find the best configuration for all my stuff in that new, shiny plastic box. Who doesn’t like a fresh box of Crayola crayons? No one, I tell you!

Then came school-clothes shopping. New tops and jeans and shoes and clothes for gym and oh, what fun. I loved to pile all of them on my bed and just look at them. I would spend a lot of time picking that new outfit for the first day. Then everything would settle in and you wore whatever.

The start of school isn’t a good thing for everyone. Some parents are struggling and the thought of all those expenses can be a little daunting. Compared to last year’s supply costs, parents could spend 5.3 percent more on their elementary and middle school student and 9.5 percent more on their high school student.

It seems like everything costs more.

Community Unity is holding its annual school supply drive with collections bins scattered throughout the city. You don’t have to be the current parent of a school-age child to appreciate the hardship this new school year can bring to some. Toss a box of crayons or a pack of markers or loose-leaf paper in a bin as you go by. It all adds up and it all helps our students learn. You have to have the right tools.

Here is a list of what is needed: Fisckars scissors (student metal blade), Crayola markers (eight count) and crayons (24 count), No. 2 lead pencils, blue or black ink pens (no gel), red pens and pencils, yellow highlighters, erasers, glue sticks, Elmer’s glue, spiral notebooks (wide- and college-ruled), loose notebook paper (wide-rule), bottom pocket folders, one- and two-inch three-ring binders, stretchy book covers (large/jumbo) and boxes of tissues.

Oh, and no one turns down cold, hard cash. It doesn’t take a lot to make a kid smile and start the school year right.


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