Next week -- July 31 -- the new school year starts for Rim country young people.
It is a time of mixed emotions for families with children. It is also a time when the rest of the residents in the area, and their visitors, need to become more alert while on the road.
Morning schedules will become hectic, with plenty of distractions for those transporting their children to school. Buses will be back on the road.
To keep everyone safe and be a good neighbor, those without children need to exercise extra caution and patience on the road.
If bedtime and meal schedules have not yet been adjusted to the rhythms of the school year, now is the time to seriously practice those routines.
Plenty of sleep and good nutrition play a vital role in the educational success of children and teens. That usually means eight hours of sleep at night, a complete breakfast in the morning, with a limited amount of sugar and lots of plain water throughout the day. Studies have shown that the brain needs to be hydrated to function at its best.
Another key element to the educational success of young people is the involvement of their parents and guardians in the schools and what the students are learning.
Know what classes your children are taking. Know who their teachers and coaches are.
Take a good look at their textbooks and workbooks -- talk about them.
Sit down together at dinner and ask about the classes -- which classes your child enjoys and which classes they are struggling with or find boring. Ask if you can help.
When opportunities arise, such as school open houses, take advantage of them and visit with your child's teachers and coaches. Get to know them and what they expect in their classes.
Know the administrators at your child's school. Ask them how the school is run, what is expected of students, teachers and parents.
Read the school handbooks from cover to cover. Get or make a copy to keep at home and easily accessible.
Whether you are a parent or guardian, you can be involved in the schools. The schools are where our tax dollars are invested for the future, make them a place where you are personally investing in the future as well.