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Back to School 2009: Move over summer, a new year is upon us!

From pre-K through college, LSU AgCenter experts offer advice about preparing for and making sure of a successful school year. Getting ready involves more than students. It’s important to the family, the community and, ultimately, our society.

Read the 2009 back-to-school press releases.

Steps to School Success
The first step is mental preparation, says Diane Sasser, family life educator at the LSU AgCenter. Don't wait until the last minute. Stay calm and get organized. Get a business planner or just an ordinary notebook and use it everyday to mark down events to attend and tasks to accomplish. You can also find organizers online. Go to Household Notebook.

"Calm back-to-school chaos through organization"

Manage Your Money
Back-to-school time brings the smell of newly sharpened pencils, fresh crayons and money. But don't get carried away with spending. Get yourself a budget and stick to it, says LSU AgCenter family economist Jeanette Tucker. Get the kids involved in the planning. For help go to an online back-to-school budget calculator.

"Teach money management when shopping for school supplies"

College Kids' Credit
And don't forget the kids going off to college need money management skills to. Credit card companies prey on them relentlessly. Tucker says teenagers can unwittingly mount up huge credit card debt that they end up spending their young adult life trying to pay off. Discuss with your college-bound teen the responsibilities of credit card ownership.

"Include credit card talk in college preparations"

Pack a Safe Lunch, Drink Plenty of Water
Whether you're going back to school as a student or a teacher, be extra careful in packing your take-along lunch if it sits a long time between the time you make it and eat it. LSU AgCenter nutritionist Beth Reames warns about the danger of food-borne illnesses caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites or toxins that grow in food. You may suffer from upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea and headache. She also warns against children becoming dehydrated in this hot weather – especially young athletes.

"Don’t pack foodborne illness along with your lunch"

"Athletes risk life when dehydrated"

Get Back on Schedule
This applies to all age groups. During the summer months students may not have had to get up so early or go to bed at a definite time. They need to get enough sleep to perform at their best during classes.

"Reassure your anxious grade-schooler"

"High school years are less stormy than thought"

Parents: Get Involved
Parents can help their children be successful in school by getting involved in school activities. Parents should play an active role in understanding their children’s homework and helping them establish good work habits, advises Sasser. Check your child’s backpack or school bag for assignments and other communication from teachers. Understand what he or she is working on and help set up an appropriate work environment. Be an important part of the child's life outside of school, too, she says.

"Success in school depends on life outside school"

The LSU AgCenter is one of 11 institutions of higher education in the Louisiana State University System. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, it provides educational services in every parish and conducts research that contributes to the economic development of the state. The LSU AgCenter does not grant degrees nor benefit from tuition increases. The LSU AgCenter plays an integral role in supporting agricultural industries, enhancing the environment, and improving the quality of life through its 4-H youth, family and community programs.

(This AgCenter Lead was updated on July 29, 2009, by Linda Benedict.)

Last Updated: 7/29/2009 2:19:16 PM

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