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NEW BEGINNINGS, NEXT CHAPTERS I have always loved back-to-school time. One of my earliest memories is the first day of first grade. I had attended a private school for kindergarten, and I was transitioning to the public school for first grade. I remember being very excited as I laid out my outfit the night before the first day. I didn’t want to seem overly enthusiastic for fear of being seen as “uncool,” so I chose a Snoopy T-shirt depicting Snoopy (“Joe Cool”) holding a tennis racket and a pair of distressed knee-length Levi’s jean shorts. I had my backpack ready and filled with my school supplies, carefully selected and color coordinated. Over the years, through high school, college, and even law school, I always loved the first day of class. I loved the fresh start, fresh supplies, new textbooks, and clean notepads. Without fail, I would commit to keeping my notes neat and organized and staying on top of my homework assignments. Invariably, however, a few weeks in, there would be doodles all over the covers of my notebooks and in the margins of my notes, my handwriting would be increasingly messy, and I hate to admit, I would not always be caught up with my reading assignments. After cramming for final exams and finishing up year-end projects, I would re-commit at the start of the next school year or quarter — to work harder and to stay better organized. When the kids were little, I loved to take them back-to-school shopping. We would take the school supply list to the store, and they would choose their backpacks, supplies, folder designs, and the colors of their notebooks. I would get vicarious enjoyment as they selected their outfit for the first day. John and I would wait with them in the driveway for the school bus and take photos or video (with a camera and a video camera, not a phone) as they were picked up. I must confess, after they left, I would enjoy a cup of coffee and embrace the quiet solitude.
Aaron, fifth grade, Rachel, third grade, and Hannah, second grade, on the first day of school, 2002
Now that the kids are grown up, for the last five years, the Rinehardt Law team has been providing school supplies and backpacks to kids in our community facing adversity or hardship. We want every child to have that fresh start to the school year with new supplies. To encourage excitement for the new beginning, we host a back-to-school backpack bash at the Friendly House with games, ice cream, and crafts. The whole team chips in, and we all get great pleasure seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces. Back-to-school time is like starting a new chapter. It’s an opportunity for a fresh start, the chance to do something different and better. When our clients come in for settlement, it is also the beginning of a new chapter. Sometimes our client is healed, sometimes they have ongoing symptoms, and sometimes a life is lost. No amount of money can undo the harm, but hopefully, it helps them get their next chapter off on the right foot.
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FROM A SCATTERBRAINED SUMMER TO AN ORDERLY SCHOOL YEAR Hacks to Get Your Kids Organized Summer break (especially for young kiddos) is a lawless time with little meaning that’s punctuated by a vacation or trips to the park and pool. Transitioning children back to the calm, orderly world of the school year can be challenging for both teachers and parents. How can you make sure your kids trade in their summer hats for their school brains? Well, luckily, you can use a few hacks to make that transition brighter, seamless, and even fun. Create a fun checklist for school to-do’s. Spelling out all the tasks your kids have to do before and after school will help them ease back into the routines of going to bed each night and getting up early for school. Plus, it will introduce them to the satisfaction of checking items off a list after completing them. When your kids know what to do and when to do it, it makes your day a little easier! Make a color-coded clock. Lots of kids are visual learners, which means an analog clock will be their best friend when it comes to keeping track of time. Color code different sections of the clock for different parts of the day to help them remember what they’re supposed to be doing, whether it’s blue for breakfast time, orange for homework hour, or purple for their bedtime routine. Make school supply cubbies. If your child tends to throw their backpack and jackets all over the house, then school supply cubbies could be a game-changer. You could even just label different hooks in your mudroom or hallway if that’s all you have to work with. Whatever the case, when your kids have an established place to put their school stuff, it’s that much easier for them to find as they head out the door in the morning. Organize your school lunch supplies. Making your kids’ lunches each morning can be exhausting, but if you put different lunch items (e.g., bags of chips, apples, juice pouches, etc.) in different, easy-to-reach containers, you can turn making school lunches into an assembly line process where your kids do most of the work themselves, teaching them responsibility and taking a load off of your shoulders every school morning. You can even consider making the lunches the night before to lighten up the morning routine!
INSPIRATION CORNER JIM NICHOLSON Rinehardt Injury Attorneys, in coordination with Mid-Ohio Youth Mentoring, sponsor a Back-to-School Bash each year at the start of the school year for the children of Richland County. Our firm’s goal is not only to provide these children with a backpack full of school supplies but to also provide them with an afternoon of food, fun, and laughs to get them excited for the school year. Children can enjoy bounce houses, crafts, face painting, an ice cream bar, and more. We think every child deserves a great start to the school year with the right supplies. After a modified event last year due to COVID-19, we are excited to host the full party this year. This year’s event will be held on Aug. 7 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Friendly House, where we will distribute over 150 backpacks to local kids in need. There will be a bounce house obstacle course, a keychain craft, and make-your-own sundaes. Our 6th Annual Back-to- School Backpack Bash Aug. 7, 2021 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. The Friendly House
We are endlessly inspired by community leader Jim Nicholson. Jim is the Executive Director of Mid- Ohio Youth Mentoring, a program that provides youth in mid-Ohio positive life-changing mentoring relationships.
Mid-Ohio Youth Mentoring connects young people
across the mid-Ohio region with a mentor who offers support, encouragement, and provides them with opportunities to help them achieve success in life that they would not otherwise get. Statistics show that the single most protective factor against a child getting involved in violence, drugs, and crime is a strong positive connection with adults. Jim has dedicated his career to connecting at-risk youth with positive role models so they can grow up to be healthy adults.
Plan your kids’ outfits for the next day … or the next week.
If they had their way, you know your kiddos would wear the same Spider Man or Elsa T-shirt every day of the week. So, if you want to make sure they look respectable and ready to learn every day, plan out their outfits for the entire school week. This is especially easy if they have a set of hanging cubbies in their closets. Allow them to help choose outfits on a Saturday or Sunday before the new week; it will also help them learn how to dress themselves later in life.
One of Jim’s favorite quotes is by Frederick Douglass: “It’s easier to build strong children than it is to repair broken adults.”
Back-to-school season shouldn’t be hectic — and with a few of these hacks in mind, it won’t be!
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The lax routines of summer, full of sleepy mornings and late nights playing outside, are about to give way to the structured routines of the school year. That transition can be hard on a lot of kids after having entire days to themselves (not to mention the year and a half of online learning during the pandemic). Despite this, there are a few ways parents can ensure that by the first day of school, kiddos are fresh and ready to take on the school year. How Parents Can Help Young Kids Transition Back Into the School Year
Corn Chowder With Spicy Red Pepper Cream
We make this chowder every year when sweet corn is in season. The spicy red pepper cream is optional, but it brightens the taste of the corn without overwhelming the fresh flavor.
• 4 ears of corn, shucked • 1 slice of bacon • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp onion, finely chopped • 3 tbsp celery, finely chopped • 3 small red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock • 1 tsp thyme • 1 bay leaf • Salt and freshly ground pepper • 1 1/2 cups milk
Spicy Red Pepper Cream: • 1 large or 2 small red bell peppers • 2 tsp medium-hot
chile powder or 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1 1/2 tsp oregano • 1/2 tbsp olive oil • 1/2 tsp salt • 1 tbsp heavy cream
Help them get their supplies in order. Ask your child’s teacher for a list of school supplies (if they don’t automatically send you one). Then, give yourself and your child ample time before the school year starts to shop for all the supplies they need. Make it a fun experience, and when you can, let your child pick out school supplies that suit their personality. At the same time, a first day of school outfit can help officially mark the fresh start of the new school year when the day finally arrives! Ease them into it. The best way to make any transition less jarring is to make it a gradual process. About a week before the school year starts, put them on a sleep schedule that’s similar to the one they’ll have while in school, with earlier bedtimes and wakeups. Start limiting the number of sugary snacks they have before going to sleep and take away screens about an hour before they go to bed to help them fall asleep more easily. Talk to them about their fears/concerns. Going back to school in a classroom, most likely with new students and a new teacher, can be scary for some children. While you maybe shouldn’t ask them directly what they’re afraid of, you can ask how they’re feeling about the new school year (this will help you discover if anything about the transition is bothering them).
1. Using a sharp knife, cut corn kernels from cobs. 2. In a stock pot, cook bacon until slightly crisp, then chop. 3. Add onion and celery and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. 4. Add potatoes, chicken stock, thyme, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. 5. Cover and simmer over low heat until the potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes. 6. Add the milk and simmer for 5 minutes. 7. Add the corn and simmer until tender, 3–4 minutes. 8. Remove the bay leaf. 9. For the red pepper cream: Roast bell pepper under the broiler, turning, until charred all over. 10. Transfer to a bowl, cover bowl with plastic and let steam for 20 minutes. 11. Peel the pepper; discard the core, ribs, and seeds. Coarsely chop. 12. In a food processor, puree the pepper with the chili powder, oregano, olive oil and salt. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the cream. 13. Ladle the chowder into soup bowls and top each with a spoonful of red pepper cream.
Transitions and changes can be hard, but with adequate, intentional preparation, your kiddo will be good to go on the first day, no problem!
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INSIDE THIS EDITION
New Beginnings, Next Chapters Our 6th Annual Back-to-School Backpack Bash Inspiration Corner — Jim Nicholson Hacks to Get Your Kids Organized for the School Year Transitioning Into the School Year — A Parent’s Guide Corn Chowder With Spicy Red Pepper Cream 3 Things All Students Need Before Moving to College
Prepare Legal Documents Once they turn 18, your child is no longer under your care — legally speaking. You can no longer make decisions for them, including medical decisions, should they become incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions. Connect with a trusted attorney to create medical and financial powers of attorney that give you these rights. (Just consult with your child first before doing so!) Cover the Household Basics If there’s one thing to look forward to, it’s all the laundry you won’t have to do anymore. And the fridge will be fully stocked without ravenous teens emptying it regularly! But before you drop your child off at college or their new home, make sure they can manage laundry, cook basic meals, and keep a tidy space. Some basics to cover include the difference between hot and cold wash and how to make scrambled eggs. Make a Budget Living as a broke young adult is almost like a rite of passage to “real” adulthood, but you can make this experience easier just by opening that often taboo door and talking about money. Explain the processes or budgeting systems that work for your family and guide your child through their potential living expenses. Try test runs so they understand how much they will have to spend on necessities, like groceries, hygiene items, and gas.
Prepping for an Empty Nest?
Congratulations to parents sending their children off to college or “the real world” this year! Parenthood is not for the faint of heart — from toddler meltdowns to angsty teenage years, you might be counting down the days to an empty nest. 3 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOUR GRADUATE LEAVES
Yet, that doesn’t make your child moving off to college any easier.
Fear not, for you can help your child live more independently at college in many ways and give yourself peace of mind knowing that your baby is going to be fine.
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