Safety and learning know no season

Published 10:44 am Friday, June 17, 2016

With today being the last day for public school students, a few thoughts immediately come to mind.

First, the always necessary plea to drivers of any vehicle this summer that they be extra alert to the presence of children. They’ll often be outdoors — one hopes — playing on the sidewalks or in the streets. Driving a little slower in residential areas, for example, could save everyone much grief. Likewise, parents would do well to caution their offspring to be aware of cars, trucks, motorcycles and even bicycles.

Second, just because schools are closed doesn’t mean learning has to stop. By the time children and teens return to school, they’ve likely forgotten most of what they picked up the previous 10 months. Since a year-round school calendar doesn’t seem likely, there are other options. When and where possible, sign your children up for summer reading programs at the local libraries.

Depending on your religious beliefs, Vacation Bible Schools are also excellent ways for children to have fun and learn at the same time. Find out if there are camps or other programs that offer more than canoes and crafts, and instead feature STEM- or STEAM-based activities. Science, technology, engineering, art and math are always in season.

Speaking of learning that shouldn’t stop, the third point is to offer congratulations to you seniors who graduate tonight or tomorrow.

Most, if not all of you, have put in the time and effort to acquire a foundation of knowledge on which you can start building lives for yourselves. This can be done through higher education at a college or training from a vocational school.

Both are valid ways to learn skills that can lead fulfilling careers.

Even if you’re not getting a diploma this weekend, there’s little to no reason why adults cannot also pursue knowledge for a different job or personal enrichment.