Mayor’s Message: Safety first at Voorhees schools

Mayor Mignogna discusses the importance of a safe learning environment

Mayor Michael Mignogna

As we approach the beginning of a new school year, it is of utmost importance that a safe learning environment be provided for our students.

In an ongoing effort to protect our children, the Voorhees Township Committee and our schools continue to work together. We will continue to have police officers in all our public schools for the full school day.

Police Chief Lou Bordi has been at the forefront of school security. He and other members of his staff have attended several seminars and have worked with school officials to make sure the most current security measures are in place.

Returning to school after a relaxing summer can be a trying experience for both children and parents. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers help and safety tips to ease back into the school year. The first few days are always emotional, especially for younger children. Parents should emphasize the positive aspects of starting school. Remind children of the fun in seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your youngster can walk to school or ride with on the bus.

Consider starting your child on their school sleep/wake schedule a week or so ahead of time so that time change is not a factor on their first couple days at school.

Many children become nervous about new situations, including changing to a new school, classroom or teacher. This may occur at any age. If your child seems nervous, it can be helpful to rehearse entry into the new situation. Take them to visit the new school or classroom before the first day of school. Remind them that there are probably a lot of students who are also uneasy about the first day of school.

If it is a new school for your child, attend any available orientations and take an opportunity to tour the school before the first day. Bring the child to school a few days prior to class to play on the playground and get comfortable in the new environment.

If you feel it is needed, drive your child (or walk your child) to school and pick your child up on the first day. Get there early on the first day to cut down on unnecessary stress.

Make sure to touch base with your child’s new teacher at the beginning or end of the day so the teacher knows how much you want to be supportive of your child’s school experience.

It is important to develop good homework and study habits. Create an environment that is conducive to doing homework. Youngsters need a permanent workspace in a bedroom or a part of the home that offers privacy. Set aside ample time for homework. Establish a household rule that the TV and computer stay off during homework time. Always be available to answer questions and offer assistance. To help alleviate eye fatigue, neck fatigue and brain fatigue while studying, children should take a 10-minute break for every hour of study.

Too often, we hear of tragic accidents involving school buses. Children should wait for the bus to completely stop before approaching it from the curb. Make sure to always remain in clear view of the bus driver.

When traveling to and from school in a car, all passengers should wear a seatbelt or use an age and size-appropriate car safety seat or booster seat. All children under 13 years of age should ride in the rear of the vehicle.

Have a safe and happy school year!

• Our Summer Twilight Series concludes with our annual Movie Night in the Park on Saturday, Sept. 15. The popular animated comedy “Coco” will be shown on a state-of-the-art digital LED screen. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at Connolly Park and is free.

• Voorhees Township is offering discounted tickets to Morey’s Piers in Wildwood. Tickets are available in the Municipal Clerk’s Office at Voorhees Town Hall. Prices vary according to the type of ticket and several options are available to residents and non-residents. For more information about tickets visit www.voorheesnj.com.