Up & Coming Weekly

August 15, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 18 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 18 UCW AUGUST 16 - 22, 2023 EDUCATION Families can start preparing for school now a STAFF REPORT After a summer of relaxation, the start of a new school year generates mixed emotions among stu- dents. Many children look forward to being back on campus with their friends but may not revel in the idea of waking up early or doing homework each night. While summer break is a much needed-respite from the rigors of school, it doesn't mean school should be forgotten entirely. In fact, doing some preparatory steps before a new school year begins can make the year go much more smoothly. Here's how students and parents can direct their focus during the final countdown. Keep reading. According to Scholastic, summer slide is a concept that was first acknowledged by researchers in 1996. Many comprehensive studies have come out since then and indicated that kids lose significant knowledge in reading and math over summer break, which can have a cumulative effect and lead to skill loss each year. Some research says up to 20% of school year gains in reading and 27% in math are lost during summer break. Children should be encouraged to read as much as possible during summer break, particularly since many schools require summer reading and subse- quent essays or book reports upon returning to the classroom. Let kids read what they want, whether it's comics, magazines, the newspaper, or even books they've read before. Accumulate supplies. School may not be on the radar early in summer, but it's wise to purchase sup- plies early. Right before school starts there is a mad dash to grab notebooks, pens, clothing and more, which can make for a stressful shopping experience for all involved. Shopping early helps families avoid that outcome. Brush up on math skills. It can't hurt for stu- dents to do a few math problems over the summer. Practice keeps skills fresh and any mathematical for- mulas prominent in their minds. All it takes is one or two problems per day to stay on top of math skills. Visit educational attractions. Families can include museums, art exhibits, animal sanctuaries, libraries, science centers and similar attractions in the list of places they visit over the summer. is way students can learn and be entertained simultaneously. Start enforcing bedtimes. School-aged children (six to 13 years) need nine to 12 hours of sleep every night, according to KidsHealth.org. During the summer, late nights can easily be recti- fied by sleeping in the next day. But when school resumes, the alarm clock will be ringing earlier than expected. Parents can gradually implement earlier bedtimes as summer winds down so that kids are getting the rest they will need. Get in the know. Parents can begin to pay closer attention to emails and social media posts from schools as they'll likely contain information about upcoming school calendars, bus routes (or trans- portation registration), changes in personnel, or any additional updates. is can help alleviate any surprises on the first day of school. Families can take several steps to get ready for school as the first day draws near. Tips for picking the right backpack for back-to-school a STAFF REPORT Students need many different supplies to help them move to the head of the class. Teachers frequently post lists online before school begins or advise students in the early days of the new year. Although starting early can be helpful for some parents, others may want to wait to go back-to- school shopping until they learn what's needed. ere is one piece of gear, however, that most students will definitely need: a backpack. Backpacks have been helping students transport books and other materials to and from school for decades. Backpacks are not a new invention, and they actually predate school. Otzi, a man whose mummified remains have been traced to the Copper Age, carried an animal fur rucksack during his travels. American Civil War soldiers carried bindles, and Henry Miriam devel- oped one of the first knapsacks for the U.S. military in 1877. It wasn't until the late 1940s that kids started us- ing backpacks for school, as more materials were available to make these bags after World War II. Backpacks are now ubiquitous on school cam- puses around the world. Backpacks are available in many different sizes and styles. Not all of them are created equal, and some may be better and safer for students than others. Here are some considerations. •Look for even, secure stitching that will not come undone easily. Inexpensive backpacks may last a few weeks, but a more durable backpack can last the school year and beyond. •Pass up backpacks with frayed fabric edges that could unravel, says Consumer Reports. •Opt for backpacks with zippers that have fabric flaps over them to keep water and other elements out of the backpack, helping prolong its life span. •Consider a synthetic material, which will be lighter to carry and more resistant to water. •Choose a backpack with lots of compart- ments that can spread the weight of gear out across the bag. •Look for bags that have padded backs and straps. e padding should be ventilated, so the backpack will not get very hot when the child is using it. •Karena Wu, a physical therapist and owner of ActiveCare Physical erapy in New York, encourages parents to choose backpacks with tapered straps that will conform better to their children's bodies. A waist strap can help keep the backpack centered on the child's torso to help dis- perse the load. •If the school allows it, a rolling bag is a great way to prevent strain on the back. Verywell Fam- ily says children should carry no more than 15% of their body weight in the backpack. at means a 60-pound child shouldn't carry more than nine pounds. •Select a backpack that is sized accordingly to the child. It may be tempting to buy the largest one around, but that can be cumbersome and the stu- dent may overload it. •Many students now use laptops or tablets for school. It is a good idea to buy a backpack that has a padded pocket for tech devices to protect them during transport. Although it may not seem trendy to do so, back- packs should always be worn with all straps in place to distribute weight evenly; otherwise, strain may be placed on one shoulder or side of the body. is, in addition to choosing the right backpack, can keep students comfortable and safe. Some preparatory steps before a new school year begins can make the year go much more smoothly. Backpacks are available in many different sizes and styles. Some may be better and safer for students than others.

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