Spirit Of Com­mu­nity

The Oakdale Leader - - NEWS - Teresa Ham­mond is a staff re­porter for The Oak­dale Leader, The River­bank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at tham­mond@oak­dale­leader.com or by call­ing 847-3021. Teresa Ham­mond

F or those who may have missed it, the buzz is back. Ear­lier this month, over 5,000 stu­dents grabbed their back packs, note­books and headed off for the age old cer­e­mony of “the first day of school.”

For some, it was their first time in an un­fa­mil­iar place, while for the Class of 2018 it will be their last “first day” in Oak­dale schools. The eve of the cer­e­mo­nial first day, fam­i­lies ven­tured to el­e­men­tary cam­puses so their stu­dent could check the class list and pre­view where they were to re­port the fol­low­ing morn­ing. More im­por­tantly, they checked the list to see which, if any, friends would re­port to the very same class that they would.

Truth­fully, this is a tra­di­tion I still don’t com­pletely un­der­stand. I don’t re­call do­ing this as a child, yet we have been par­tic­i­pants for the past seven school years and this one was no dif­fer­ent.

As the Com­mu­nity News and Ed­u­ca­tion Re­porter it is the time of year when my cal­en­dar and/or sched­ule be­gin to over­lap. A time when I check which cap I wear to each given event. Do­ing my best all the while, to main­tain my “mom” sta­tus, as much as my “lady from the Leader” iden­tity.

Be­ing the kids of the news­pa­per lady is both a bless­ing and a curse in a com­mu­nity of our size. To date we have been for­tu­nate as a fam­ily, by a com­mu­nity which is un­der­stand­ing of the times I show up sans cam­era and note­book, com­pletely own­ing my mom role. It is my first pri­or­ity, as it will be just a hand­ful of years be­fore my duo is on to big­ger and brighter things be­yond the 95361.

The school year start, each and every year sig­ni­fies true New Year for us as a fam­ily. It’s a time for fresh starts, new be­gin­nings and con­tin­ued learn­ing. A time where we are for­tu­nate to cross paths with new fam­i­lies, ed­u­ca­tors and com­mu­nity mem­bers.

It’s also a time when I have to put thought into, do I have the kitchen prop­erly stocked for lunches. Do we have their class lists, to join the masses shop­ping for school sup­plies? And the ever im­por­tant, how much did they grow dur­ing sum­mer and how much cloth­ing do I need to buy to see them through to fall?

With all this talk of school, stu­dents and the like, I rec­og­nize there is more to be cov­ered within the com­mu­nity be­yond the schools. Some com­mu­nity mem­bers are kind enough to re­mind me of this, as I apol­o­gize for not be­ing able to be in two places at once. Yet make no mis­take, if I can get my­self from a fresh food event at an el­e­men­tary school and down to the Se­nior Cen­ter for a photo op within the same hour, I will. It’s one of the many things I love about this town; lo­gis­ti­cally some things are more fea­si­ble than oth­ers.

Now as for travel time, if it’s dur­ing the 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. hour or the 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. hour, count me out. Jug­gling from one end of town to the next dur­ing this time is next to im­pos­si­ble. Rea­son? Sim­ple. Those 5,000 plus stu­dents are be­ing trans­ported to and from some way or an­other. Well, that and ex­pe­ri­ence has made me all the wiser. Wel­come back to the com­mu­nity grind, I’m sure happy to be here.

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