Students, parents: follow ABC’s of back-to-school

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Just a few months ago students and teachers alike were celebrating the end of another school year. Now it’s time to go back to the classrooms.

Where did the time go? Summer sure did fly by, didn’t it?

As students across Barnwell County enjoy the last few days of no homework, early morning wakeup calls, and studying, area teachers are back at work. In fact, many of them have been preparing throughout the summer for the first day of school by buying supplies, attending workshops and coming up with new ways to engage students so they can succeed academically.

Now that they are back in school, teachers are getting their classrooms set up, finalizing lesson plans, meeting their new colleagues and getting ready to meet their students.

Teachers at Barnwell Primary School went on a field trip their first day back to work on Monday, August 8. The school’s principal took the teachers to the Build-A-Bear Workshop at the Augusta Mall to make stuffed animals to use as reading buddies for their classrooms. We think this was a creative way for teachers to bond and kick off the school year in a fun way. We are sure students will love the reading buddies, which range from characters from the “Finding Nemo” and “Finding Dory” movies to a multi-colored bear that will be in the art teacher’s classroom.

As teachers and administrators prepare for the arrival of students next week, maintenance crews are hard at work as well.

Projects have been underway for most of the summer at many schools, such as installing new floors, painting, adding new technology, and repairing roofs. These are necessary projects that will improve the learning environments for our children.

At Macedonia Elementary School in Blackville, a crew is removing the old equipment from one playground. Most of the equipment was old, rusty, broken and unsafe for children to use.

The Barnwell County Ministerial Association is leading this project at no expense to the school. The Association, which includes pastors from across the county of various denominations, is working to raise approximately $70,000 to replace the outdated equipment with new ones. One piece has already been purchased and will soon be installed after the old equipment is removed.

However, they need more money to complete the project. We encourage any individual, family or business that is able to contribute to this worthy project because the students at Macedonia Elementary should have better equipment to play on and be able to have a little fun.

Donations can be mailed to Barnwell First Baptist Church, 161 Allen Street, Barnwell, S.C. 29812. Checks should be made payable to the Barnwell County Ministerial Association with “playground” designated on the memo line.

While school employees are hard at work to prepare for the new school year, we hope students and their families are taking the necessary steps to be ready to learn.

First, it’s important to have the right tools. If you have not purchased your school supplies, please do so this week. While the tax-free holiday weekend is over, there are still deals to be found at many retailers. Shop at home first!!!

You can also get some free supplies from an upcoming back-to-school bash. Several took place last weekend, but there are more opportunities across the county this weekend. Find details of these free events on our Community Calendar (page 6B).

We commend the churches, organizations and other groups who have planned these events as a way to reach out to the community and ensure students are ready for their first day of school.

It’s also important to start getting in a back-to-school routine. This includes students and parents. Start setting the alarm clock a little earlier so your body will adjust and be ready for the first day.

Parents, we encourage you to be follow the ABCs of back-to-school: Agree on academic goals for the year, Be active and present, and Create a positive environment at home. It’s been said time and time again that students benefit when their parents/guardians take an active approach to their child’s education.

If your child will ride a bus, find out the route and stops before the first day.

Have a safe and productive school year! Let’s show the state and nation what Barnwell County students – public, private and homeschooled – can achieve.