Some back-to-school tips are everywhere: Set a time for homework. Pack lunches the night before. Be friendly! Here at Boys & Girls Club of Martin County, we’re sharing tips with a bit more weight.
1. Take Advantage of the Sales Tax Holiday
Florida’s 2017 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 4 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 6. During that time, you won’t pay sales tax on qualifying school supplies, clothing, shoes, personal computers and computer-related accessories. The items must be under specific cost limits and meet other criteria. For a complete list, be sure to visit the Florida Department of Revenue’s Tax Information Publication (TIP) before you shop.
Want to save money and help our club at the same time? Shop at the Bealls in Port Salerno or Jensen Beach and a portion of the sales will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Martin County!
2. Keep Social Media Friendly
Social media represents one of the biggest parenting challenges today. Most kids will find a way to get around rules, so the best approach is to arm them with information for making good decisions. Talk about what they shouldn’t share online and why they need to know the person they’re sharing with. If they’re comfortable coming to you with questions, you’ve won half the battle. (Visit the National Crime Prevention Council for more resources.)
3. Just Wait for the School Bus
Do you know when it’s legal to pass a school bus that is picking up or letting riders off? Drivers can pass only when a 5-foot barrier or median stands between your side of the road and the bus. Florida penalties can be hefty: An illegal left-hand pass could mean a $100 ticket the first time and, if within five years, a suspended license (3-6 months) next time. Double all those figures for an illegal pass on the right. Watch your speed in school zones, too; fines can be as high as $350.
Of course, the biggest risk is injury to a child or teen. Their movements are unpredictable, so make sure you keep your vehicle stopped until the bus is rolling again, and take it slow near schools. The time you spend may save a life!
4. Use Your Feet, Pedals, Engines Carefully
No matter how you or your child gets to school, everyone shares responsibility for their own safety and that of each other.
5. Learn the Three-Song Rule
OK, this tip may seem a little frivolous or funny on its face, but not when you think about morning battles for bathroom time. Play three upbeat songs while a family member is in the shower, then they must get out. The result will be lots of happy music and a shower with plenty of hot water for everyone!
The Boys & Girls Club of Martin County is celebrating its 26th year of “building great futures” in Martin County, enabling youth and teens to reach their full potential by staying on track to graduate, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and practicing healthy lifestyles. All donations are vital investments in the lives and the futures of our children.