During the Back to School Bash Friday afternoon, Mercy Pediatrics staff, physicians and pint-sized patients celebrated the coming school year with treats and take-away bags full of school supplies outside the practice's new location.
Patients and parents at the bash weren't the only ones getting ready for school; Mercy Pediatrics Director of Operations Tennille Rushing will be heading new school-based clinics in Morgan Elementary and Reidland Middle Schools.
"My husband's a teacher, so he usually takes care of all the back to school stuff," Rushing said. "But I'm ready for it this year."
Her own children were among those at the bash, nibbling on fresh fruit, sipping on juice boxes, and enjoying the face painting and jokes of "Mercy Sue" the clown.
Paducah Middle School student Maxx Besaw took a liking to Mercy Sue's ukulele, strumming away as he walked among the attendees.
"This is the first time I've ever played a ukulele!" he said. When asked if he was ready for school, he immediately said no. "But the first weekend is a four-day weekend," he continued. "Just enough time to re-learn all the basics before we start back up. That's all we really need the first three days for."
Like Maxx, many students are likely dreading going from a relaxed summer schedule to early mornings and demanding classes. To make the transition easier on kids, Dr. Rachel Lowdenback of Mercy Pediatrics suggested getting kids to bed a little earlier each night in the weeks leading up to school. That way, by the time school rolls around they'll be adjusted to their school day bedtime.
"If your kids are going to back to school this coming week, start tonight," she said. "Go cold turkey if you have to and make them go to bed and wake up at their usual school-day times this weekend. Even those few nights will help prepare them for their first early morning at school."
Mercy Pediatrics will be ready to see patients in its new location at 548 Lone Oak Road on Aug. 13.
Contact Genevieve Postlethwait, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.