Published on 06/27/19

UGA releases back-to-school media package on July 5

By Merritt Melancon

While Georgia’s school kids are just getting into the swing of summer break, specialists with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, Georgia 4-H and the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) are preparing for August.

On July 5, the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) news team will share their collection of stories for the 2019 back-to-school season. Newspapers and websites across Georgia and the Southeast are welcome to use this free, research-based content throughout July and early August.

The CAES news team also has a selection of large-format, free stock photography to accompany back-to-school stories, as well as connections to UGA experts who can help reporters and journalists develop their own stories.

Please contact us if you or your staff writers need help finding the right source for stories about student health and development, nutrition or other back-to-school topics.  

Stories covered in this year’s back to school package include:

Teaching kids to fight germs — Every school year, it’s great to have a refresher on the importance of handwashing. UGA Extension FACS agent Roxie Price shares her tactics for helping kids to develop good handwashing habits.

Ways to keep kids active — From homework to extracurricular activities, some kids are running out of time to play outside. Here are some tips for keeping kids active despite hectic schedules during the school year.

College prep begins in middle school — Most middle school students don’t know what they want their career to be, but those middle-school years are a good time to start thinking about it. College recruiters from UGA share some “real talk” on what students need to start thinking about between their sixth- and eighth-grade years.

Warren County farm-to-school — Warren County only has 562 students, but the school system is getting accolades from across the state for their robust farm-to-school program, which involves UGA Extension, 4-H and the school system. In the year since winning a Golden Radish award from Georgia Organics, the tiny school system has expanded their program, adding local beef and an orchard.

Pollinator gardens as STEAM classrooms — CAES pollinator and school garden expert Becky Griffin discusses ways teachers can use pollinator gardens as a STEAM education resource.

UGA Radon Education Program announces annual Radon Poster Contest — Household radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., but the hazards of this dangerous gas are still relatively unknown to many Georgia families. UGA Extension is raising awareness by asking students to make posters.

Great Georgia Pollinator Census — Between August 23-24, UGA Extension will coordinate the state’s first pollinator census. Teachers, students and parents are all invited to take part in this statewide citizen science project. UGA Extension pollinator expert Becky Griffin gives helpful tips and guidance for those who want to get involved.

Bedtimes can make a difference in children's mood and ability at school — Between after-school activities, homework and other obligations, kids have a lot of competition for the time they should devote to sleep. Many kids — and adults, for that matter — don’t get enough sleep. On average, high school students need between seven and 11 hours of sleep. For younger kids, even more time is needed: 12 hours for school-age kids, 13 hours for preschoolers and close to 14 hours for toddlers.

Helping kids prepare emotionally to go back — Getting ready to go back to school means more than getting some new shoes and a book bag. Human development expert Diane Bales offers tips for parents who want to help their kids build an emotional tool kit for coping with the pressures of heading back to class. 

Communication routines — UGA FACS human development expert Diane Bales and Georgia 4-H’s Courtney Jackson talk about building routines that foster communication between children and parents. 

For more news from UGA Extension and CAES, visit

Merritt Melancon is a public relations manager with UGA's Terry College of Business and previously served as a public relations coordinator for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Extension.

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