It may be July and we find ourselves not ever a month past the Fourth of July. But for those who are students in the Newton County School System, a new school year starts this coming Friday. Teachers are already back on the job.
I realize it has been a long time since I was a student, but when I was a student, it was either right before or right after Labor Day that the new school year started. Ready or not the new year is upon us.
The “Good News” for the students is that a new year means a fresh start. The frustrations and struggles of the past year are exactly that in the past. The new school year means a clean slate and a new beginning.
To make sure the new school year is a good year it takes a community to have a successful school year. One way we see that support is through the annual distribution of school supplies and book bags sponsored the Newton County Sherriff’s Office yesterday. It was for all students in Newton County and was held at Newton High School.
Two years ago the Newton County Sherriff’s Office and its partners gave about 4,500 stuffed book bags with supplies needed for school. Last year more than 5,000 were given up. It was expected that yesterday, more than 5,500 stuffed book bags would be given out. Plans called for more than 125 volunteers from at least twenty community organizations and civic clubs coming together to make the day possible. Each book bag held two types of tablets, pencils, pens, and markers. Each student receiving one will be better prepared to get a “running” start for the new school year.
Sheriff Ezell Brown said his passion is reaching out to children. And acts such as the book bag distribution help build a positive bridge between the community and those entrusted to assure our security and safety.
The Sheriff’s Office partnered with the Salvation Army, the Chi Tau Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the Washington Street Community Center, Shire, The Covington News, and the Newton County Department of Family and Children’s Services. At the same time and location, the Department of Family and Children’s Services sponsored free health screenings.
I congratulate Sheriff Brown and his department for receiving the National Sheriff’s Association Triple Crown Award in June. This came from the department simultaneously receiving accreditations from the Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, and American Correction Association.
It may seem early to start the new school year but for us in Newton County it starts tomorrow with with the teachers and staff reporting back to work. This means for all of us to be alert to the School Buses that will transporting many of our students soon. Make sure you stop when you need to for the safety of the children getting on and off the busses. It also means to be aware of the need to slow down in school zones. Again the entire community needs to help ensure the safety of our children. A few minutes saved will never be worth a serious injury or death of a child.
This early start would have corrected one “injustice” when I was in school. With a late July birthday, I could not celebrate my birthday at school. In the lower grades, all of us with a summer birthday, had to have a “pretend birthday” for our parents to bring a treat for the class. But on the other hand, we started school a lot closer to the start of the football season and that meant something to look forward to on Friday and Saturdays.
Start the year when you wish and you still have the same number of days, 180. So while we are starting with what seem early, we pick up some pluses. Several breaks during the year are longer than they were in the “day”. And it will all wrap up on May 25, which of course, is before Memorial Day.