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Tag Archive | "SAT"

Back-to-School tips when you’re on a budget


SCH-Back-to-school-tips-on-budget

(StatePoint) Between new clothes and new school supplies, back-to-school season can put a strain on household budgets.

In 2015, families planned to spend $630 on back-to-school items, according to the National Retail Federation, and this year’s numbers are also expected to be pricey. With a little planning, your family can get the most out of your school shopping budget by taking advantage of sales, comparison shopping, buying in bulk and simply by making sure you don’t buy things you already own.

Here are some smart ways families can reduce costs as students head back to class this fall.

End-of-Season Sales

Take advantage of end-of-season sales to stock up. This concept may not help you this fall, but it’s a great habit to adopt now for long-term savings. You can stock up on summer clothes now and great fall items once the weather gets chillier. Stores will be offering deep discounts and clearance prices on items that eventually will come in handy for next back-to-school season. Remember to take into account that kids grow quickly!

Add it Up

Bigger ticket school supply items can cost you a pretty penny if you don’t comparison shop.

For example, required tools like a high-quality graphing calculator can come with a price tag of $75 or more! Get more for your money with an affordable model, such as Casio’s fx-9750GII, which retails for under $50. It offers useful features like a high resolution screen and compatibility with a personal computer. It is also permitted to be used in such major tests as the ACT and the SAT. More information about calculators can be found at CasioEducation.com.

Take Stock and Buy in Bulk

Don’t buy things you already own, and take advantage of bulk discounts for the stuff you need! Before making your shopping list take stock of what school supplies you already have in your closets — and your child’s backpack — from the last school year. From scissors to folders to unused or partially used notebooks, you may already have many things your kids need for the year ahead.

For those necessities that kids will need all year long — such as tape, paper, pens, pencils, markers and more — take advantage of bulk sales at discount stores and online retailers. Buying more now can save you cash in the months ahead.

Go Green

Brown bags, plastic baggies and plastic silverware are small expenses that add up quickly. Instead, opt for reusable lunch container alternatives and a one-time expense. It’s not only good for the planet, but kids will get on board if you let them pick items that speak to their sense of style. You’ll also save yourself trips to the store!

Don’t let back-to-school make a hefty dent in your wallet. At the store, take advantage of great deals and also consider different ways of eliminating perennial expenses.

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HATS Off to local middle school student


 

Madison Skelonc

Madison Skelonc

Madison Skelonc, a 7th grader at Cedar Springs Middle School, was one of 300 high achieving middle school students recently honored at the annual HATS OFF (High Achieving Talented Students) Recognition Ceremony, a statewide award ceremony that recognizes the top-scoring students who participate in Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search. The students who were recognized have received extremely high scores on a college entrance exam—either the SAT or ACT—while in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade.

Madison, the daughter of Brent and Jenny Skelonc, of Nelson Township, took the ACT in 6th grade.

The students and their parents were guests at a reception on October 17 that was hosted by the Gifted and Talented Education office at Michigan State University.

The SAT and ACT tests are administered annually to approximately 2,250 Michigan middle school students who demonstrate high academic ability. These tests are utilized by high school juniors and seniors as part of the college admissions process. Data from Northwestern Midwest Academic Talent Search indicates that participating middle school students score, on average, very close to the average score of college-bound high school seniors nationally. Those students recognized at the HATS OFF awards ceremony achieved scores comparable to the top 1-20 percent range of college-bound senior’s scores.

The process seeks to identify students who reason well in math and verbal areas and to recommend educational options available both in and out of school.

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God’s Surprises


by Ronnie McBrayer

by Ronnie McBrayer

God loves to astonish. Just consider the Virgin Mary. What a surprise! Who could have anticipated that this little, teenage girl from Nazareth could birth of Son of God? She was a thing of wonderment and here is why.

First, she was little; that is, she was young. In the custom of her day, a woman would enter a prearranged marriage even before sitting for the SAT. So she was a novice. Second, she was a woman. Women in first century Palestine were often considered property—intended for domestic labor, sexual pleasure, and the manufacture of male heirs.

And Mary’s third issue: she was from Nazareth. To call Nazareth your home was to lay claim to one of the most rebellious and unruly regions of the Empire. It was a Jalalabad or Aleppo of the ancient world.

So when it is said, “Mary was just a little girl from Nazareth,” that is a statement loaded with surprising characteristics. She was the wrong age, the wrong gender, and from the wrong neighborhood. Yet, these liabilities became the very pathways for Mary’s future. These things kept her in a place of dependence upon and submission to God.

A man named Irenaeus was one of the first Christians who did serious thinking about Advent and its meaning. He came to the conclusion that Mary’s example of holy surrender was a pattern for us all; and he used a scintillating title for her. He said, “Mary is the undoer of knots.” Mary took the tangled mess she had been given and persistently worked it out, overcoming all her challenges in redemptive, surprising ways.

Pope Francis says the same. Speaking of that little girl from Nazareth, he says: “There are problems and struggles we face that form a tangle which gets more and more painful and difficult to undo. But even the most tangled knots are loosened by God’s grace.”

And then Francis says how: “Mary first conceived Jesus in faith when she said ‘yes’ to the message God gave her. And what took place in the Virgin Mary also takes place within us. Believing in Jesus means giving him our flesh with the humility and courage of Mary, so that he can continue to dwell in our midst. May Mary help us to say ‘yes,’ to be open to God’s surprises, for everything he gives us is a gift—even our weaknesses—so that he can become our strength.”

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, blogger, pastor, and author of multiple books. Visit his website at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.

 

 

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