Editorial: Learning environments are waiting; get involved

Yellow with flashing lights and a stop sign, it’s hard to miss a school bus. It’s that time of year.

Monday they rolled in mass, picking up and ferrying students to and from learning institutions in the Bladen County Schools. Bladen Early College High School, under the principalship of Rodney Smith, opened Aug. 5 as the 13th, joining Bladen Lakes Primary, Bladenboro Primary, Dublin Primary, East Arcadia, Elizabethtown Primary, Plain View Primary, Bladenboro Middle, Carkton School of Discovery, Elizabethtown Middle, Tar Heel Middle, East Bladen High and West Bladen High.

Starting a school year is an exciting time.

For the first-grader, there’s so much of the unknown. It can be overwhelming for the youngsters, intimidating even, and a few other descriptions they might not know how to spell or define.

Move up through the grades, and the lens through which the start of the year is viewed begins to change. Middle schoolers are coming into their own, their social presence very often linked to their activities on social media. They are growing rapidly, and not just physically.

High schoolers can be grouped as a single level, but within that are many dynamics. Freshmen just ruled the middle school, had it all down and knew what to expect while those fresh-faced kids in grades behind them were trying to figure it out. The shoe has gone to the other foot.

Sophomores are beginning to feel the screws tighten a bit. The future is sooner than they think, or so they’re told, and there’s not a moment to spare. Juniors are even further into the after-high school discussions and decision-making process.

And seniors? Well, enjoy it while it lasts because whatever preparations were done the first three years of high school to set up this final year, it’s over come June. The school or job choice will be happening; the routine both daily and in the calendar year of grades 1-12 will be hitting the rearview mirror.

The 12 years of school are defined by a beginning and an ending, summer vacations separating them, emotional highs and lows combining with achievements to define them.

So what about the rest of us? Do we have a role? Absolutely and without question.

Each school strengthens its community. The stronger the school, the more opportunity for success and acheivement within the community.

We tell students they need to be engaged, sitting in the front row and asking questions. The same can be said for our communities around the schools, whether we have children in the buiding or not.

Volunteer opportunities are numerous and schools can always use extra help. Parents should want to be at the front of the line.

Find a place and get involved. It’s for the children — and all of us.