The first bell of a new school year will soon ring across Saanich. Students from kindergarten to Grade 12 are readying for their return to class, and no doubt Tuesday can’t come too soon for their parents.
It’s a time of new beginnings and limitless expectations. But it can also be a time of anxiety, and more needs to be done to ensure our children see school as a safe space where they are free to express their views and pursue their artistic and educational dreams. Parents are encouraged to take an active role in their learning and make sure they and their children are aware of the anti-bullying measures that have been introduced in the local school districts.
We must also work to make sure all children have the same opportunities for a quality education. In the Victoria area, there are programs like Fairstart to help make that goal a reality. As part of the Fairstart program, the Mustard Seed in partnership with Monk Office, distributed 700 kits to 350 families with children returning to school in the fall. The kits include essential stationary for children in grades one through 12, such as binders, crayons, paper and pens.
And as youngsters head off for their first day of class on Tuesday morning, drivers need to keep that in mind and use extra caution when they’re on the road. The 30 km-h school zone speed limit will be back in effect from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Drivers are advised to leave a little extra time to reach their destination so they can slow down to keep an eye out for youngsters darting into the road.
Parents driving their children to school should make sure to never let a child out of the car when they’ll be getting off into traffic. Make sure they’re stepping out onto a sidewalk or away from the flow of traffic. Also, consider driving a block or so away from the school and walking with your child, in order to reduce congestion around the school area.
Back to school should be a time filled with optimism. We can help make it a positive experience for every student if we all do our part.