Summer is for families |

Summer is for families

Dear Editor:

Who is trying to “steal” summer? It is preposterous to think that shortening the school summer vacation will benefit our children. The school board, parents and school administrators that support this change are ignoring important issues regarding our children and family development.

For decades, the American tradition was a school vacation in July and August, with a school year that started after Labor Day, coinciding with business holiday breaks. With August being the hottest month in the nation, it made sense to start school in early September so that vacations could include family trips to seasonal resorts at lakes, oceans, mountains or perhaps travels to foreign lands to meet different cultures. This summer vacation tradition is an opportunity for families to spend quality time together and critical for family development.

Most important, in support of a traditional summer vacation period, is summer jobs for young people. This character building element of American life is crucial to the long term human development of the “whole” child. Many of us experienced our first employment with a summer job at a resort or camp and the availability of summer employees is necessary to maintain these businesses. I know from experience, when young people apply for summer jobs, the student that can work until Labor Day is the one who gets the job.

Shortening summer vacation just doesn’t make sense and is not supported by the teachers or the students. I am pleased that there is dialogue on how to adjust the school schedule in light of our tourist economy, as I would enjoy off-season vacation time with my family. However, more important is bringing back the tradition of starting school after Labor Day and giving “summer” back to our students and families.

John Wilcox


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