It's hard to believe that our winter sports season is already here. Most of our winter teams are already practicing, and girls' hockey had their first game last week. Before we get too wrapped up in our winter teams, I want to take a moment to reflect on our fall season.
The nine athletic directors in the Suburban East Conference are committed to promoting a sportsmanship initiative to help improve the behavior in the stands at our athletic events. As fans enter every contest at Park, they will notice a sandwich board with the major components of this new initiative. Earlier this school year the conference held a sportsmanship summit as part of this project. Each school sent its "SuperFans" to the Roseville Oval to meet with each other to discuss how we can improve sportsmanship at our events.
When I was eating school lunch in the 1970s, there were just two days looked forward to: spaghetti day and pizza day. The mystery-meat hamburgers and overcooked vegetables, and hard, cold mashed potatoes were just bad. My children have been eating school lunch for the past decade, and I've been impressed with the daily offerings of fresh vegetables and fruits and the improved quality and nutritional value of the food. But the Farm to School "movement" really excites me.
As a regular library user, I recognize that not everyone uses them frequently. However, the general public needs to visit libraries more, so libraries can improve their selections, activities and hours for the entire community. Primarily, a library's function is lending materials, but their variety is limited. If you can't find something you want, then you should request it because library collections adjust to popular demand. If books aren't for you, libraries are also vital sources of social interaction. They provide spaces for classes, meetings and events.
It has long been my view that the South Washington County Bulletin and Woodbury Bulletin should be combined. School District 833 includes schools in Cottage Grove, Woodbury, Newport, and St Paul Park, and the youth can be moved around in those schools. There are even families with children in both Cottage Grove and Woodbury schools.
During my sophomore year of high school, my mother and I moved into a new house on the edge of town. Surrounded by thick bushy pines and nestled on a three-acre chunk of land, the amenities of the yard made up for the fact that it was right off the highway and that our nearest neighbors raised sheep in their basement.
It's been gratifying to see the progress our society has made to be more inclusive of people with disabilities. I expect opportunities for employment, independent living and community involvement to continue to increase. There are many reasons for this, but one that's worth noting is the role of direct-support professionals. These are caring people who work hard to assist individuals with disabilities to achieve their goals. They make their lives better in many ways. ProAct employs more than 100 direct support professionals across its six locations.
"A Nice Family Gathering," a poignant comedy by Phil Olson, will be performed Sept. 7-23 on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. as well as Sundays at 2:30 p.m. at The Phipps Center for the Arts.
The Washington County Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program is celebrating Minnesota Breastfeeding Awareness Month in August and World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7. This year's theme focuses on "Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life." The week helps raise awareness of the importance of breastfeeding for both babies and mothers and calls attention to local efforts that support breast-feeding. "Breastfeeding helps children get off to a healthy start," said Samantha O'Dell, WIC Breastfeeding coordinator. "It's the foundation of life."