Summer's almost upon us

Published 2:21 pm Monday, May 3, 2004

By Staff
With the start of May, it's clear that the school year will be ending soon, and summer will bring with it a new, more leisurely attitude for the whole community.
At The Brewton Standard, we've started planning for our special graduation issue, and the school systems are planning for summer school, summer maintenance, summer schedules.
And I bet some mysterious mechanism in every student's internal clock is clicking into action, making it harder and harder for them to concentrate during this downhill stretch of the school year.
In their futures they see days of sleeping late and trips to the beach and a few months with no homework.
Summer vacation might be at the top of the list of reasons that being a student is the best gig in the world.
While I know a few thousand young people in the area look upon the end of May with excitement, my first reaction to the thought of school ending this month was one of nervousness.
I wondered, what would I write this column about over the weeks that school isn't in session? What photos would we run on our "Local Schools" page every Wednesday?
That nervousness faded quickly as I realized that even with school over for the summer at the end of this month, school-aged kids will not vaporize into tumbleweeds at the first of June -- many youth programs will just be getting a running start.
For one, I understand that the Brewton Public Library has a great summer reading program every year, and I'm excited to see that in action my first summer in Brewton. For some kids, reading for pleasure is natural, but most could use a little structure and encouragement to keep them reading through the summer.
I have faith in the library's team to make summer reading more fun than work for the kids who participate.
Also, the Learning to Read Through the Arts literacy program -- coordinated by Alabama State University's Southern Normal campus -- will continue in a summer session.
You may remember from our recent feature of this program that it exposes local third- and fourthgraders to visual arts, drama, dance and music -- all in an effort to make reading more meaningful and more fun for the students.
Of course, I don't for a minute expect that local kids will spend all of their summer vacation engaged in quiet indoor activities.
I'm expecting a lot of opportunity to capture kids in some typical summertime activities like Little League baseball, swimming lessons, programs at the YMCA.
Also, I'd like to hear readers' tips about what local students are going to be involved in this summer. You can help make sure we don't miss a beat during a time that will surely be as active as the regular school year.
Before we know it, in fact, band camp will start and our sympathy and respect for those dedicated kids seen marching in the August heat will remind us that it's almost fall -- and the start of a new school year.

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