Nashville's First-Day Festivities
I still remember what the first day of school was like -- the excitement of seeing friends, meeting new teachers and getting ready to learn. ...
I still remember what the first day of school was like -- the excitement of seeing friends, meeting new teachers and getting ready to learn. That lasted about 15 seconds. Then, it was nine months of pure drudgery.
But, in Nashville, Mayor Bill Purcell, who Governing will honor as a Public Official of the Year tonight, makes sure that the excitement lasts a little bit longer. Although I couldn't fit it in my profile of him, the city's unusual way of celebrating the first day of school is one of his prouder accomplishments.
For the past seven years, the city has held a massive, privately funded festival the Sunday before schools start, which is designed to build enthusiasm for the new year. Recent renditions have drawn more than 20,000 people, attracted by entertainment and school-supply giveaways, including a backpack for every student in attendance.
What's even more interesting to me is what the city does on the actual first day. Purcell has encouraged parents to accompany their students to school and has persuaded close to 200 area businesses to allow their employees to miss work so that they can do so. Not surprisingly, having parents join their students has greatly reduced truancy.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
Trouble for Some States, Lower Gas Prices Bring Relief to Mississippi9 hours ago
Pennsylvania Governor Fires Philadelphia School Reform Commissioner14 hours ago
Florida's Privatized Prison System Is Chronically Underfunded14 hours ago
Study: Obamacare Premiums Could Triple If Court Tosses Subsidies18 hours ago
Christie Quietly Reaps Obamacare's Budget Benefits18 hours ago
GOP Governors Carry Their States' Fiscal Baggage to CPAC19 hours ago