School Views: A strong community
It’s autumn in the High Country, which means two things: Halloween is upon us, and a full slate of local elections is just around the corner. Two pastimes that challenge us to be good neighbors and active community members, with both offering a chance to practice kindness and engagement.
As our kids get excited about the costumes they’ve put together and prepare to hit the streets in search of their favorite candy, there are some safety tips we can all follow to help keep our neighborhoods safe for all the ghouls and goblins.
- Children under the age of 12 should always trick or treat with an adult. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, go over a planned route and remind them to stick together and to visit familiar areas that are well lit.
- For younger children, start before dark and limit the walking distance. With Halloween falling on a Sunday this year, we suggest everyone be done trick-or-treating by 8:30 p.m.
- Parents, consider decorating costumes and bags with reflective tape and stickers. If possible, choose lighter, easier-to-see colors.
- Equip eager trick-or-treaters with flashlights or glow sticks — anything to help them be seen as they go door to door.
- If you are driving, slow down and be alert in residential neighborhoods, especially during the peak trick-or-treating hours of 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Allow yourself extra time to get where you are going, and take an extra pause when entering or exiting driveways, at intersections, and in roundabouts.
- As always, consider the weather. While this may not be new to all, it may be to someone new to our community. Unusually cold or snowy weather can be a real hazard for young children. Be sure kids are dressed appropriately: layers, hats, and gloves are necessities — even if it means a costume change.
We live in a wonderful place, so relax and enjoy this community-based holiday where we encourage our kids to act goofy and dress up in their most imaginative costumes. If you don’t have children of your own, celebrate and play it up with the ones who ring your doorbell. If that doesn’t interest you, turn your outside lights off and enjoy a quiet evening at home.
Come Monday morning, when the candy has all been sorted, the costumes hung up, and the makeup washed away, the families of Eagle County will still be a community. While trick-or-treating provides an excuse to knock on a neighbor’s door and exchange a few kind words and check in, it’s important to stick together all year round.
Remember that neighbors will still be neighbors after ballots are cast and votes counted. If you haven’t taken advantage of early voting, be sure to get out and vote on Tuesday, Nov. 2 for the candidates who most resonate with your principles and be prepared to work with the members of our community who have selflessly volunteered to run for these positions.
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Please remember to be neighborly and practice kindness. Whoever is elected will be a part of our district leadership moving forward and I am excited to get to know them and work with them for the betterment of all children in Eagle County School District.
Philip Qualman is the superintendent of Eagle County School District. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.