It's hard to believe the summer holidays are almost over, with just under two weeks until the start of a new school year.
While schools across the region scramble to ensure they will welcome back students in a COVID-safe environment, parents are busy preparing children for the school year with new books, shoes and uniforms on the shopping list.
The MidCoast Council #ShopMidCoast gift card could be the smarter way to stock up on everything students need.
The local gift card program, now accepted at more than 280 outlets across the region, is not only a great way to support Mid-Coast businesses, but to ease the financial burden on families when it comes to school essentials such as uniforms, school shoes, books and computers.
"We're aware the card was a popular end-of-year reward or Christmas gift for hundreds of locals, so now's the time to keep the money on the cards circulating through local businesses and in turn, support our economy," MidCoast Council liveable communities director, Paul De Szell said.
"People think of the cards as 'gifts' and often forget they can be used for everyday purchases; back to school is a great opportunity to put a #ShopMidCoast card sitting in your wallet to very good use," Mr De Szell said.
Since the #ShopMidCoast program was launched in September 2020, $177,871 has been loaded onto cards, all of which will be spent locally, in businesses operated by locals.
We're aware the card was a popular end-of-year reward or Christmas gift for hundreds of locals, so now's the time to keep the money on the cards circulating through local businesses and in turn, support our economy.- MidCoast Council liveable communities director, Paul De Szell
Look for the trademark #ShopMidCoast heart-device displayed at retailers and other businesses participating in the program.
More information and a listing of participating businesses can be found by visiting the Midcoast Council #ShopMidCoast page HERE.
The back to school period is also a good time to remind motorists that 40km/hour school zones will soon be in force in and around local schools, and to be alert to flashing lights - both in school zones and on school buses.
Flashing lights on buses indicate the bus is about to stop to pick up or set down school children.
When flashing, motorists are required by law to slow down to 40km/hour.
Research shows that children stepping off a bus are at risk, particularly younger children who don't yet have the skills to identify hazards in a roadside environment.
For more information about keeping our kids safe as they head back to school, visit the MidCoast Council road safety page HERE.
"Back to school is an exciting time, not just for the kids as they reunite with friends and start a new school year, but for parents and carers too," Mr De Szell said.
"We all have a responsibility, in many different ways, to send them off to school safely and well prepared for their year ahead."
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