Back to School

As the last rays of summer sunshine wane over Southern Utah and the echoes of laughter from endless summer adventures begin to fade, the atmosphere starts to buzz with a different kind of excitement. Yes, it’s that time again! Area kids are gearing up to head back to school on Tuesday, August 15th.

Transitioning from the carefree days of summer to the structured environment of the school year is a landmark moment every year. It’s not just about new classes or teachers; it’s about fresh starts, new ambitions, and the promise of memories yet to be made. To make this transition smoother and more enjoyable for our young scholars, we at St. George Word of Mouth have put together a comprehensive guide.

From must-have supplies to top tips for easing into the academic year, this blog post is your one-stop-shop for all things back to school in Southern Utah. Dive in and let’s set our kids up for an amazing year ahead!

Bags

When it comes to backpacks that marry style with function, two types stand out in our all-time favorites list. First, the iconic JanSport. Synonymous with durability and timeless design, JanSport bags have been a classroom staple for generations. Their unmistakable silhouette, spacious interiors, and the myriad of colors and designs available make them a perennial favorite for students and travelers alike. On the trendier end of the spectrum, sports drawstring bags have burst onto the scene. Lightweight, flexible, and available in a plethora of designs, these bags are perfect for those on-the-go moments, be it a quick gym session after school or a casual day out with friends. Both these bags offer versatility and a statement of style in their own unique ways.

Supplies

Navigating the vast world of school supplies can often feel like preparing for an academic expedition. Among the essentials that form the foundation of every student’s toolkit are pencils, paper, and 3-ring binders. Pencils, whether mechanical or traditional, are like the trusty sidekicks; always at the ready for jotting down notes, sketching diagrams, or shading in those multiple-choice bubbles during tests. Paper serves as the canvas for all these scribbles, drafts, and masterpieces, often becoming the unsung hero in the journey of learning and creativity. Meanwhile, 3-ring binders are the organizational lynchpin. These sturdy binders, with their customizable spines and pockets, act as the guardians of accumulated knowledge, keeping assignments, notes, and handouts systematically arranged and easily accessible. Together, these supplies not only aid in the academic process but also subtly teach the values of organization, preparation, and expression.

Other Must Haves

As students head back to school, equipping them with tools to keep their belongings safe is paramount, and the Apple AirTag is emerging as a must-have device for this very purpose. The AirTag integrates seamlessly with the Find My app, allowing not only the tracking of personal items but also collaborating with friends and other devices to pinpoint their exact location. With its uncomplicated one-tap setup, it instantly syncs with iPhones and iPads. Misplaced your backpack or lunchbox? No worries. The AirTag boasts a built-in speaker that can play a sound to aid in location, or one could simply enlist Siri’s assistance. For those with select iPhone models, the Precision Finding feature utilizing Ultra Wideband technology guides you directly to your AirTag’s location. In the event an item goes missing beyond immediate surroundings, the vast Find My network—comprising hundreds of millions of Apple devices—comes to the rescue. If an item remains elusive, activating the Lost Mode will alert you once your AirTag is detected within this network. Safety and privacy concerns? Apple has got that covered. All interactions within the Find My network are anonymous, encrypted, and neither location data nor history are stored on the AirTag. Moreover, with a replaceable battery that lasts over a year and an IP67 water and dust resistance rating, it’s designed for longevity and durability. To add a touch of personal flair, Apple offers a range of colorful accessories to complement the AirTag, making it not just functional, but also a trendy addition to any school kit.

A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics underscores the critical role of water in maintaining a healthy weight for children. In a trial involving 1,249 fourth graders from low-income schools in California’s Bay area, the Water First program aimed to educate students about the advantages of drinking water over sugar-sweetened beverages, which are linked to obesity. The initiative, which spanned 15 months, involved the installation of water stations, schoolwide promotions, and both classroom and at-home lessons on the health benefits of water consumption. Though there wasn’t a significant difference in the percentage of overweight students between the intervention and control groups after seven months, a notable disparity emerged by the 15-month mark. While the control group saw a 3.7 point increase in overweight prevalence, the intervention group experienced only a 0.5 point rise. This emphasizes the incremental, yet impactful benefits of school-based programs like Water First in combating obesity. The study’s authors further highlighted that consistent promotion of water consumption is pivotal, as water intake spikes in the intervention group weren’t sustained throughout the trial. Anisha I. Patel, M.D., one of the authors and a professor at Stanford University, stated that the Water First program “holds promise for preventing overweight in children,” reinforcing the significance of educating children about healthy habits. As parents and educators prepare for the upcoming school year, equipping every child with a water bottle becomes not just a convenience but an imperative tool for promoting healthier lifestyle choices and preventing unhealthy weight gain.

Portable Charger

After-school sports, meet-ups with friends, and the myriad of extracurricular activities that fill the lives of today’s tech-savvy students often extend the day well beyond the final school bell. Whether they’re coordinating rides post-practice, snapping photos to capture moments, or updating their socials, students rely heavily on their cell phones throughout the day. However, these extended hours of use, combined with the demands of academic apps and assignments, can rapidly deplete a phone’s battery. Getting stranded without a working phone isn’t just inconvenient—it can also be a safety concern, especially when children need to communicate with their parents or guardians. Therefore, as parents and guardians prepare their kids for the upcoming school year, adding a portable charger to the back-to-school shopping list becomes paramount. It ensures that students remain connected, safe, and ready to seize every opportunity the school year brings, without the worry of a drained battery.

Don't Miss a thing!

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best things to eat, drink, see, and do in St. George!