OPINION COLUMNS

Stay cool and get ready for school

By Brian Knox | Published Wednesday, July 26, 2017
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The calendar says school is just around the corner, but the thermometer says summer is just heating up.

I check the National Weather Service forecast each day for various alerts, and lately the description for the daily weather just says “Hot” with a graphic of a blazing yellow sun.

Tis’ the season for heat advisories.

Brian Knox

Brian Knox

But fall has to be right around the corner, right? I mean, some students will be back in the classroom three weeks from today. (Yes, you read that correctly.)

We recently did some school supply shopping for the kids … OK, my wife recently did some school supply shopping for/with the kids. I mentioned that a lot of those supplies might be a little cheaper during the annual sales tax holiday weekend Aug. 11-13.

Wife was having none of it.

Larger crowds, the weekend before school starts, did I mention it’s getting even hotter out?

If you do enjoy the thrill that is tax free weekend (I’m looking at you, Black Friday warriors), you’ll have the opportunity to save money on most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced less than $100, according to the State Comptroller’s Office.

Shoppers can expect to save about $8 for every $100 you spend.

Of course, as always, we encourage everyone to shop local and support the local economy.

If you’re looking for the definitive list of what qualifies as “tax free” or have other questions regarding the annual sales tax holiday, visit wcmess.com/salestaxweekend.

If you are looking for more help with back to school preparations, some local churches will once again be helping out local students.

Among the events we’ve heard of so far, Decatur Church of Christ will hold Gear Up 2017 from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 6. Backpacks filled with school supplies will be provided for kindergarten through sixth graders who are accompanied by an adult. A free meal, haircuts, clothes, books and other back-to-school services will also be available.

Pleasant View Baptist Church and The Hair Shop in Bridgeport will also hold their annual free haircut and school supply giveaway for kids in grades kindergarten through 12 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, at the church.

If you would like to help out in another way, Wise Hope Crisis Center is holding its annual school supply drive for children whose lives have been touched by family violence. School supplies and monetary donations may be dropped off at the Outreach Office, 608 N. Bus. 81/287 in Decatur.

As for dealing with the rising temperatures, I don’t have as much advice, other than drink plenty of fluids.

Or stay in or around large, or small, bodies of water.

Or better yet, just stay inside and map out your plan for back to school shopping.

Brian Knox is the Messenger’s special projects manager.

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