It seems as if the end of the school year was just last week. But here we are, Aug. 16, and Whitehall-Coplay, Northampton and Catasauqua schools begin classes Aug. 27.
Since August is when students return to school, this month is National Back to School Month.
According to nationaldaycalendar.com, “National Back to School Month has been observed since the 1960s.
“The school year has traditionally begun in the fall and ended in late spring, allowing the children of farmers in our agricultural society to help with planting and harvesting. Though today most families have moved to a more urban and suburban lifestyle, most schools in the United States still function on this system,” the site states.
If you’re looking to get a jump-start on back-to-school time, head over to the National Museum of Industrial History, 602 E. Second St., Bethlehem, Aug. 16. From 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., six area nonprofits — National Museum of Industrial History, Bethlehem Area Public Library, Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sits, ArtsQuest, PBS39 and Cops ‘n’ Kids Lehigh Valley — are coming together to celebrate the start of another academic year. There will be giveaways, including books. Kids can visit with PBS39’s mascot, Telebear, and enjoy hands-on activities and art demonstrations from ArtsQuest’s teaching artist, Melissa Perhamus. There will also be storytelling.
“This celebration of literature and art is the perfect way for kids to dive back into the school year. It’s a free, fun event, and the participation of so many fantastic Bethlehem nonprofits ensures it will be a great day for the whole family,” Kara Cenni, president and CEO of the National Museum of Industrial History, writes on the museum’s website.
There’s also a backpack day event 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 18 at Wesley United Methodist Church, 2540 Center St., Bethlehem. At this sixth annual event, elementary school-aged students can receive backpacks filled with school supplies and free socks and underwear, and there will be an opportunity for free haircuts. Wellness screenings will also be available, along with face painting and food.
In Catasauqua, at Hair411, there will be a fourth annual back-to-school event Aug. 19. Scheduled for 1-5 p.m. at 206 Second St., the event includes food, drinks, music, games, activities, free school supplies and free haircuts for kids in kindergarten through fifth grade. To help make this a success, the owner of the salon is looking for donations of gift certificates, food and drink items, school supplies, etc., and for local businesses and community members to sponsor the event.
Additionally, a back-to-school block party is set for noon-5 p.m. Aug. 25 at Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley. Taking place in the parking lot next to Best Nail Care Salon, 1114 Hamilton St., Allentown, the event includes giveaways — including book bags, gift cards, school supplies, food and games — and a live deejay.
Keep in mind the giveaways at these events will be available while supplies last.
Many churches throughout the Lehigh Valley also do a blessing of the backpacks — like Emmanuel’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3175 Valley View Drive, Moore Township. During the church’s 9:30 a.m. outdoor worship service, children may bring their backpacks to be blessed.
I myself am a very big to-do-list person. Here are just a few items you’ll want to make sure you have checked off before your kids go back to school.
• That perfect first day of school outfit
• Backpack/lunch box (if last year’s are not in good condition)
• Binders/binder dividers/notebooks/folders
• USB drive that’s cleared or has enough space available
Whether your back-to-school prepping includes taking one last vacation, making various shopping trips for school supplies and clothes or giving your children academic learning activities to freshen up, I hope the start of the 2018-19 school year is a fun, enriching and safe one.