WEST ALEXANDRIA — School is back in session for all Preble County schools. Twin Valley Community Local Schools welcomed back students with the annual picnic, this year with a twist.
On Thursday, Aug. 16, a community carnival and picnic was held at Twin Valley South.
According to organizer Erin Utsinger, the change came as a way to encourage families to attend the open house.
“This is our 27th year doing the community picnic. This year we changed format and decided to incorporate a carnival theme, because the school wide open house. We’re hoping to get more families to come in, participate, each a meal, and then see who their teacher is and the classroom,” she said.
“In the past, it’s been the same meal, but people setting up with their information. There were no activities for people to do. They just came in, grabbed information, and that’s it. When I was president of the PTO several years ago, we did a carnival and it was always heavily attended. It was just an idea that I had that I thought would be great for the community.”
Different school and community organizations had booths set up with classic carnival games. That way they could provide their information, while also providing fun.
“I think this event is important, because the school is the heart of a small community, so it is great when you came have people come in and see what is going on inside the school. Our goal is to bring people in and hope that they have a good time,” she said.
As school children all report to school this month, Sheriff Mike Simpson added the following school safety tips, “School buses will be on the road. Please provide them with space when following and be prepared for frequent stops. Ohio law requires motorists to stop for a bus that is loading or unloading students.
“Familiarize yourself with designated bus stops in your neighborhood. Many children walk to a designated stop near their homes.
“Remember school zone speed limits. Speed limits are set at 20 mph in designated areas, which are marked, during times that children are present during the day. Deputies strictly enforce speed limits in school zones.
“If your children are walking to a bus stop during early morning hours when it is dark, please make sure they are dressed in light colored clothing so that they may be seen.
“Parents are encouraged to visit our website, www.preblecountysheriff.org, to locate any registered sex offenders that may live in your neighborhood, or who may live on a walking route to school. Parents can sign up for alerts as well. Parents will receive an email for an address if a sex offender registers within one mile. Multiple addresses, including your child’s school, can be entered to receive a notification.
“Never stop for or get into a vehicle driven by a stranger,” Simpson reminds students.
Additional information can be found at www.preblecountysheriff.org under the sex offender registration tab.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH