Los Alamos National Laboratory

Community Programs Office
Connections Newsletter
The Lab's Connection to the Northern New Mexico Community!

August 2012

Kurt's Column

Back to School

As a parent, McMillanI have experienced the excitement and even the anxiety that grows as summer vacation winds down and families prepare for a new school year. For some, it will be the first day of school, while others are starting their last year of high school or first year of college. Each new school year brings with it new transitions, new classrooms, new teachers, new students, but hopefully some old friends too.

The biggest thing we can do for our students is give them our support. That support comes in the form of helping them concentrate on what they need to do to achieve success in school, whether that’s reminding them to get enough sleep, ensuring they get their homework done on time, or a host of other things.

It also means continuing to support teachers. Teachers have constraints, as we all do, and when we remind teachers that they have our support, everyone benefits. When we attend parent/teacher conferences, become members of the local Parent Teacher Organization, or listen to new ideas, we support a better classroom experience for all.

Of course, you don’t have to have a child in school to help. Volunteers are needed for all kinds of routine tasks, whether it’s serving as support for field trips or showing up for a career day to talk about what your work entails.

LANL supports students in a number of ways, including the Science Education Community Service Time program, our annual school-supply drive, and LANL Laces. Science Education Community Service Time allows our employees to take up to 32 hours per year to help with science-related school projects at all education levels. Science talks and fairs and scientists at career fairs are all covered under the policy. Our school supply drive is underway and runs until August 10. The supplies collected will allow children in need to get off to a well-equipped start in school (see the article in this issue). And the annual LANL Laces program helps get new shoes on the feet of children who need them.

When we all pitch in to help our students and schools, the dividends pay off long into the future!



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