For kids only

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Sorry kids. I know that you think that people who make newspapers are probably older than dirt and have little sympathy for your problems, but I remember very well how I felt when I started seeing “Back to School” on the covers of newspapers and magazines and in advertising.

And I really do sympathize.

I also know it’s cold comfort that I think students are lucky today in all the choices they have about which school they and their parents choose to attend. Parents may not even be aware about some of the choices, so you might direct them to the cover story, particularly Brad Bynum’s story about charter schools.

And now, as the days begin to tick away in exactly the opposite speed as they counted down til the last day of school, I’m going to offer some advice: Seize what’s left of the summer.

I know that many of your parents are really, really busy right now. Some are suffering from not having a job or much money. You can help by doing a bit of thinking for yourself and not expecting mom or dad to entertain you. Plainly, I’m one of those older than dirt guys, but I’ve got a few ideas to help.

First, turn off any screen in the house. That means, hit the off button on the television, iPad, computer, whatever.

OK, you can take or leave any of these ideas in any order you choose. But trust me, doing something—anything—differently than you did it for the beginning of the summer will make the end that much sweeter.

Build something: an Estes rocket or a clubhouse out of used lumber. Sleep outside: your backyard, your friend’s backyard, or get a parent to take you on an overnight trip to Pyramid Lake. Read a book; unless you’ve already read 30 this summer. Catch a bug or a lizard, study it, and release it unharmed. Hang out near some water somewhere—but be careful—and take note of all the interesting nature. Do something nice for someone. Climb a tree. Don’t forget your sunscreen.