Our View: Support our youths | SteamboatToday.com

Our View: Support our youths

On Tuesday, hundreds of Steamboat Springs youngsters head back to the classroom for the start of the 2013-14 school year. Classes began Thursday for South Routt students and will start Sept. 3 for Hayden youngsters.

Summer's end and the start of a new school year provide the Steamboat Pilot & Today with the perfect opportunity to remind area residents about the importance of supporting local schools and taking an interest in the education of our young people. Whether you have a child enrolled in school, you're a young 20-something without kids or you are enjoying your golden years, area schools and students could benefit greatly from your support.

That support can come in many forms: through monetary donations, the investment of your time and talents or in your response to the children and teens you encounter in your communities on a daily basis.

This year, the National Retail Foundation estimates families will spend an average of $634.78 on back-to-school shopping with the cost of school supplies rising by 7.3 percent this fall. Faced with large lists to fill and tight budgets, some families and students could benefit from the donation of school supplies. Colorado Student Care is spearheading the area's third annual back-to-school drive to benefit elementary and middle school students enrolled in Routt County schools with collections slated for Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., area residents can drop off school supplies outside the Steamboat Walmart store. Your donation could help ensure that all students start the school year right with the supplies they need for success in the classroom.

Another way to show your support is to cheer on those Sailors, Rams and Tigers during a home sporting event or club competition. Home games are listed in the Pilot & Today's daily Happenings listings and at SteamboatToday.com/events, and with six different fall sports offered at Steamboat Springs High School alone, you'll have plenty of games to choose from.

Do you have a special talent or expertise in a particular subject? Then why not consider sharing your gifts and abilities in a classroom or extracurricular setting? We suggest contacting your local school system to explore volunteer opportunities and then adjusting your schedule to spend time with students in a meaningful way.

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All adults have the power to encourage young people and make a difference in their lives. It is not just the responsibility of teachers or parents to impact our youths; communities also must contribute to the well-being of school-age students. This positive contribution can be as simple as looking young people in the eyes when you encounter them out in the community and validating their importance. Or it might involve providing ways for youths to volunteer with local projects and causes or serving as a positive role model through church or civic activities.

Studies prove that young people who are raised in a caring, encouraging community are more likely to do well in school, be involved civically and value diversity. With the start of the school year, we encourage Routt County residents to renew their commitment to supporting local schools and to redirect some of their resources to empowering youths through conscious interaction.

At issue

Supporting Routt County students as a new school year starts

Our view

We encourage community members to support students by donating time, money or school supplies and serving as role models.

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