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appy 2018! I hope you are excited about this new year! 2017 was a very busy year with good times and some challenging ones, so it’s always a breath of fresh air to start out a new year fresh. If you have article ideas or are interested in contributing to Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine sometime this year, I would love to hear from you.You can contact me at the email address below. At the beginning of each year we have an issue of the magazine that focuses on education. Whether you have kids that attend public school or private schools, are home schooled – or even if you subscribe to more of an unschooling method – I think we all agree that it’s important for our kids to learn. As a teacher and parent, I know we have to help our kids to have enriching encounters that can fulfill them and that they can learn from. In the Athens, Oconee and surrounding areas, we are very lucky to have the extent of learning experiences that are available to us. In this issue, we have several articles to sharelocal educational opportunities. Liz Conroy has ways that we can teach our kids to appreciate insects. Amy Lasseter reminds us to take things more simply than we normally tend to do.We learn about awesome educational activities with Jean Mangan. Rachel Allen fills us in on how AthFest Educates benefits our students and teachers on a local level. ESP’s Big Hearts event is coming up soon and Laura Whitaker tells us all about it. Nishat Sial shares with us how the Athens-Clarke County Library has revitalized its afterschool Teen Programming. Strong Girls can change the world and Jessica Leistikow tells us how. As always, Dr, Jonathan C. Robinson has helpful advice for us. We also have contributions from some of our readers about teachers that were important in their lives. Have an amazing 2018!

Sarah Danis

contents 8 19 FEATURES

8 Teaching Kids to Appreciate Insects 10 Don’t Let Your Schooling Interfere With Your Education 12 So Glad You Were My Teacher 18 AthFest Educates 19 Watkinsville’s Public Art 20 Oconee County Elementary’s Family Engagement Center 22 Hard Truths: The Re-Education of Simple vs Easy 24 Strong Girls Serve 26 Big Hearts: Taking the Stage 28 Athens-Clarke County Library’s Teen Programming

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Michael,Trey, Sarah, and Oliver enjoying Silver Oaks at DGD Farms. IMAGE COURTESY BRITTANY WITH ZOOMIN’ ILLUSIONS PHOTOGRAPHY

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