Starting students off on the ‘right’ foot

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Pam Dudding-Burch
Contributing writer

Submitted photo
Seems like just yesterday teachers were waving goodbye to the students. In less than a week, they will be welcoming them back with open arms.

It seems like only yesterday that students and teachers alike were singing and dancing to the tune of, “School’s out for summer!”


However, in only a few days, on Wednesday August 9 to be specific, school will resume again, with the passion that is brought into the doors by the feet and spirits of everyone entering.

A repeated school quote is; “Enthusiasm is contagious! Go out each day teaching outside the box, making it magical and start an epidemic!”

Teaching starts at home and continues through school and then life, regardless if one is a student or an adult. The world is the greatest book to read. Still, one has to start young, and usually, in school.

It has been said that the beginning of anything can set the tone for the remainder of that activity, job or experience. School is no different. “So, kids have to know that their parents want them to do well and will help them to do so,” Prevention Specialist at Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare J.D. Carlin shared, who works closely with CCPS.

“It is very difficult to identify only one thing parents and guardians should keep in mind as children start the school year,” Carlin shared. “Among a long list, perhaps the one that captures it all the best is to just be involved. “Make sure your child has the needed materials and is keeping up with school work,” he said. “Help your child keep up with grades and other assignments.”

Carlin added that parents need to let kids know specific but realistic expectations about grades and behavior at school. “From my experience, youth who know that their parents or guardians are invested in them doing well in school and will support them academically usually do their best.”

It has been repeated by many teachers that, “the students who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways.”

Carlin and the CCPS staff agree that the number one thing youth need at any time of the year regarding school is the support of the entire community giving the same message that “school matters!”. “It’s important – it’s a positive!” Carlin added. “And also important that we all have pride in the efforts the youth are making to be the best students and citizens they can be.”

Henry Brooks Adams said, “Teaching affects ones eternity; you can never tell where ones influence stops.” Carlin believes that the successes and challenges are all community based.

Children are steered easily by example; the monkey see, monkey do’ theory. Therefore, helping children steer from alcohol, tobacco and drugs seem to follow this trend.

Carlin shared three key factors adults can use to help keep youth away from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs:

(1) Make sure to communicate that the usage of any alcohol, tobacco or other drugs is not acceptable. Make sure that youth get that message and get it quote often.

(2) Make sure any alcohol, tobacco or other drugs (such as prescription medicines) in your home are locked up so that youth do not have access to it.

(3) Let other adults that your child comes in contact with know that you do not approve of them providing alcohol or any other drugs to them.

“Ultimately, if youth get the message that drug use is not acceptable from the people they know love them the most and cannot get access to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, the chances of them using can be greatly lowered,” Carlin added.

Even Dr. Seuss said, “You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose!”

Carlin and the school staff agree, that if parents or guardians don’t already know their child’s teacher, to make sure to meet them at Open House or set up a meeting to discuss their child. “The more positive adults are about school, the more excited youth will be about school,” people regularly share.

Open House is scheduled for Monday, August 7 at 3 p.m. Everyone is welcome to tour the school, talk to their child’s teachers and enjoy the wonderful snacks that will be provided.

It seems the common vein of agreement in BRBH, Craig County teachers, staff, parents and community is that, “it will take a community response to make happen what it is that all of us are hoping to see in the future for the youth of Craig County.”

“We have the ability to create the change we are wanting, so we just have to make it happen!” Carlin shared. “It is about the youth of Craig County and what could be more important?”



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