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With school come thoughts of fall
Cooler weather reminds us of school activities
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 For everything, there is a season. And even as temperatures still hover in the 90s, school starts this week, ushering in thoughts of the pending seasonal change.

Kids are lamenting the loss of summer vacation freedom. Parents are doing happy dances since the kids will finally be out of the house all day.

Yes, after a blistering, parched summer, fall is around the corner, bringing with it cooler weather and reminders of school days and chilly football games of times gone by. We all have memories of shivering under blankets in the stadium, jumping around to stay warm on the sidelines or keeping instrument mouthpieces in pockets so they wouldn’t freeze to our lips.

Fall of course brings football season, but it also ushers in a host of other school sports and activities, from debate tournaments to plays to concerts. The number of our youth engaged in these in our area is staggering.

Leaders and politicians can debate No Child Left Behind until they are blue in the face. Educational experts can sell new innovative learning programs to cash strapped school districts all they want. But, when it comes to learning lessons beyond the classroom, textbook and iPad, extra-circular activities have no equal.

Leadership, community service, compromise and working with others are just a few of the skills taught by these programs. Sadly, many of them, particularly the arts, are targeted for cuts when the going gets tough.

So, whether we have kids in school or not, we should all check out the school calendars. If there is something going on, we should get out and support the youth. These are positive events that cast our young people in a positive light.

Dale Hogg