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Editor's Note

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A blink of an eye and summer is gone. For many families, back-to-school relieves the stress of occupying the kids all day, but for others, the alarm and fire drill of leaving the house on time sends the blood pressure skyrocketing. Getting back to the routine is bittersweet. Fall is time to focus on education, both in and out of the classroom.

This issue, we have a great feature for you, highlighting some very positive kid role models all pursuing their dreams. Why not take a moment to see what interests your child, then support them in their quest? Kids who love what they're doing are shown to advance and excel in learning.

Alternately, if your child is struggling to keep up in the classroom, it may be that they need a little outside help. See how you can support them get up to speed with a tutor in Education.

Studies show that important learning happens at a very young age. In Parenting, Edie Jones, former director of Together for Children, recounts the history of this outstanding organization and shares exciting news that this popular group is making a resurgence.

Meaningful learning also happens outside the classroom, especially in the outdoors. I recently had the pleasure of venturing out to Prineville to meet an inspiring animal lover at her exotic petting zoo. Her mission? To give all children the opportunity to hold and pet animals, giving them confidence along the way. Why not take the whole family to enjoy this hands-on learning experience (See Outdoors)?

In this transitioning of seasons, maybe you have noticed that your child has become a teenager. In Health, local pediatrician, Dr. Nix explains why it's important to schedule a teen check-up and what that entails.

And lastly, we are excited to introduce Michele Gardemann, bus driver extraordinaire. Not just the woman behind the wheel, she is a friend and mentor to many. In Things I've Learned, she shares her priceless wisdom.

We are honored once again, as the new school year rolls in, to be part of this wonderful community, sharing resources and meaningful articles with Central Oregon families. Enjoy!

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