It's time to start thinking about helping kids

We may not want to admit it just yet, but summer as we know it will soon be wrapping up, and children in the area will soon be returning to their classrooms.

And while we live in a community that can generally be referred to as wealthy, the average income in the area is not all that high. Much of the wealth comes from retirees and second-home owners, as families who are raising children in the community are often somewhat restrained by lower-paying jobs. Obviously, those are gross generalizations, but they fit a significant part of our collective demographic.

One expense that can certainly hit families hard is the acquisition of school supplies. The prices keep going up every year, as do the amount of items the students need to purchase themselves.

Several area groups are holding school-supply drives throughout the community in an effort to help every student have the best learning experience they can possibly have.

“These kids are our future, whether you have kids in the system [or not],” said Suzanne Brady, a teacher at Sussex Central High School who organized a drive for her more impoverished students. “If you’re able to spread your wealth a little bit, even if you can just buy a notebook, you can be helping kids that want to learn.”

The schools are also looking for mentors to help kids, which can be a way for people to chip in who might be a little financially strapped, or simply find themselves with a little free time to help.

“This is as important in high school as elementary,” said Mark Steele, superintendent of the Indian River School District. “The more school volunteers we have, the stronger the school community.”