Back-to-school time is very exciting. I remember getting ready for a new school year. When I was a kid, I would always get new school clothes.

When I was in college I was more interested in getting a bigger stereo system than I had the year before. We used to have stereo wars on and off campus, both in our apartments and in our cars. I was one of the weird ones that got excited about getting back to class to learn something new.

As a Grove Rotarian, I have had the pleasure of helping present the Choices program to a couple of middle school classes last year. The choices we make in middle school can affect the rest of our lives.

Education is essential for a successful life. Whether you plan to go-on to college, or go directly into the job market, education will make the difference in your future.

Parents have a responsibility to work with their children and young people in support of the teachers at school. Your job as a parent includes preparing your children for school and assisting them with homework and extra work.

The time you put-in to your children now will pay-off for them in the future. Don’t expect your children to succeed unless you teach them success, and that means working with them in support of their education.

Students have a responsibility to put all their efforts into getting the most out of school. There is no excuse for disrespecting teachers, staff or other students.

If you don’t think school is important, look closely at the people who had the same attitude when they were younger. Most of them would tell you they wish they had paid more attention in school.

We all have a responsibility to be careful in School Zones, to be supportive of our educational systems, staff, and teachers, and to be patient with School Buses and school traffic.

We should also keep the schools, students, staff, and teachers in our prayers. With that goal in mind, I would like to offer this Prayer for Schools:

O Lord, our Great Teacher, we humbly ask You to bless all who have been entrusted with the responsibility of educating children and young people, that by their dedication to this call, lives may be enriched, and our society healed.

Grant them strength and patience, perseverance and wisdom, and give them your protection and peace.

Bless each School, that it may be a place of safety and enlightenment. Bless each student, that they may learn and grow in knowledge and ability.

By your Holy Spirit, provide what is necessary to successfully complete this mission. All this we ask through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who with You and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns for ever and ever. AMEN.

Blessings and Peace to you,

Fr. David+

Rev. Dr. David Bridges is the pastor at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Grove. He can be reached at frdavid@standrewsgrove.org.