Mayor’s Column, by Mayor Michael Mignogna.
As we approach the beginning of a new and very different 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 of our public schools all day every day.
The first few days are always emotional, especially for younger children. Accept and validate your child’s emotions. Let your child know that their feelings make sense.
Parents should emphasize the positive aspects of starting school. 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. Make sure your child has a daily, predictable routine, with regular times for healthy meals, naps, and night sleep at home. Having a rested body and knowing what to expect at home helps children cope. 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.
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 in their first couple of days at 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 eliminate any 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. Monitor your child’s developmental milestones and learn what to do if there are concerns. Talk to a healthcare professional if your child’s symptoms of anxiety or behavior problems are severe or persistent.
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.
Have a safe and happy school year!
**On Friday, Sept. 10, the PG movie Goose Bumps will be shown on a 40-foot outdoor screen at the Voorhees Town Center parking lot located off of Somerdale Road. The movie will start at dusk and parking begins at 7:00pm. The food vendor will be J-Dogs. No pets/alcohol/smoking/vaping allowed. Parking is in designated spots, every other space, and space is limited. Lawn chairs and blankets are permitted
** The Voorhees Animal Orphanage will hold its 25th Annual Woofstock on Sept. 25 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Voorhees Town Center. The rain date is Sept. 26. The event will feature festivities for animal lovers of all ages and their leashed pets. There will be vendors, food trucks, musical acts and special guests. For more information about Woofstock or the Animal Orphanage, visit www.vaonj.org/woofstock.
** 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.