School days are back. Where did the summer vacation go?

I was a student 71 years ago in the Ellis system for 13 years from 1935 to 1948. Wow how time has flown by.

It was time for school enrollment. I was trying to remember what is was like when I went to school, when our kids went to school and now our grandchildren are enrolling our great-grandkids. How things have changed.

School didn’t start in the fall until after Labor Day in September. There were no school lunches. We had never even heard of backpacks or wouldn’t have believed we would ever carry our phones with us. Of course no TV or computers, back then we had to use the dictionary or the encyclopedia book of knowledge. In fact I still have a set of those books we were proud of.

There were no school buses in the 1930s. There were country schools out in the farm areas. The entire family attended these schools first grade through eighth. There was no kindergarten in the country school and my Mom thought it it was important that she drove me six miles each day to school in town. (I attended grade school and high school in town. )

The country school teacher was expected to teach the students to read, do math, learn penmanship, teach history and science as well as to read and sing music. Amazing how well the farm kids did in grade school. Some went to high school, some did not.

I remember taking my lunch to school in a lunch box. May favorite sandwich mom made for me was a peanut butter raisin one. Now-a-days there are school lunches available for students.

Another change I’ve seen is cost. I don’t remember paying an enrollment fee. We had to buy the books and school supplies. Maybe I’ve just forgotten, but now the fee to enroll a student is costly, covering lunches, computer, activities, sports and even more.

Education is so important. There are many things to learn out of the classroom and that’s what I want to tell you about. The largest class room in Kansas is at the Kansas State Fair.

I got this information from an article in the Kansas Country Living Magazine written by Vicki Estes. “The idea was originally called One Big Day in 1925 and then re-configured and officially renamed the Kansas Largest Classroom in 1991. This educational classroom has grown from 2, 524 kids participating in 1991 to more than 12,425 for 2018 fair. They come from every corner of the state.

"Last year students came from 146 different school districts and from 71 counties in the state”

Fantastic. Many teachers bring their class to the fair to go through the well-planned tour. They learn where over food comes from and what farmers do for as well. They learn about the farm, dairy, animals, hen house, crops and much more.

They eat the lunch they brought to the 4-H Encampment Building. The teachers ask their students to dress in same color so she can keep count — eight kids, eight blue shirts.

Everyone is welcome to view the tour stops. If you make it to the fair just check it out.

I’m so thankful for all the teachers to their children since the day they were born, be proud of yourself. Our Lord has blessed us all with the power to teach about him, his son and the Holy Spirit and this wonderful world we live in.

Opal Flinn is a frequent contributor the The Hays Daily News.