The Readers’ Voice

Back-to-school tips for children

As always, it is important to follow the important advice of Mister Rogers, “If it’s mentionable, it’s manageable.”

If your child has questions about their first day of school, it is essential that you address them with age-appropriate strategies.

1. Share your own school experiences. If you had to be resilient, speak of those times and the success of overcoming difficult situations. If you made a friend that has lasted a lifetime, share those positive thoughts. If you had a teacher who made a difference in your life, speak of that memory in detail with your child.

2. Be sure to allow your child to have some sense of “ownership.” Allow your child to have input on “first day outfits” and school supplies. If they have input, you will receive output.

3. Read “First Day” stories. These books often create a mood of empathy and a spring board to further discussion.

4. Encourage your children to write letters to their teachers for the coming year. This will sharpen writing skills prior to the first day of school.

5. Brush off the “homework station” and replenish supplies and create a schedule for homework prior to the first day.

6. Curb bedtime a week before the first day!

7. Celebrate the first day. Go out to dinner or cook your child’s favorite meal. Bake a cake! Do something to acknowledge the importance of the day!

Thank you for being your child’s first teacher. Parenting is an important job!

Todd Cole

New Wilmington

Forge’s Mastriano ornament ill-advised

I graduated from Grove City High School in 1981, went to Pitt, then moved to Florida for a job opportunity.

I have so many ornaments from Wendell August Forge that we have a second full-size Christmas tree just for them. I have also purchased every item created with the Pitt script, as well as too many gifts to list.

So I was stunned and disappointed to read that the first place I visit when I return to my hometown made an ornament to support the campaign of Doug Mastriano, GOP candidate for governor.

This man chartered buses to bring supporters to Washington D.C. on Jan. 6 to participate in the Capitol riot. He was there watching it all happen.

And when asked by a reporter, the Forge’s response was, “We would do this for either party.” It’s not about the party. It’s about the integrity of the person running for office.”

I can’t believe this treasured business that I brag about to everyone because it is from my hometown would do something so stupid. By doing this, the Forge is supporting this candidate’s actions whether they want to admit it or not.

How sad. Well at least I know I will never need a bigger tree. My days of buying at Wendell August Forge are over.

Kim Swartzel

Stuart, Fla.

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