(RI file photo)

School leaders in communities across Iowa are putting out urgent pleas for motorists to stay vigilant for small pedestrians over the next few weeks as classes are about to begin. In the southwestern Iowa town of Anita, CAM School District

Superintendent Paul Croghan says drivers need to be watchful — and patient. “Little legs are here, so slow way, way down,” Croghan says. “With the excitement of kids and the start of the school year, you want to make sure that they are safe all the time and they’re making good decisions. They get excited and maybe don’t look, so I want everybody to slow down.”

Classes will start August 23rd in the CAM district, so Croghan says it’ll be a few weeks beyond that before youngsters get used to their new buildings and new schedules. “I talked a little boy on a bike yesterday and I asked him if he was excited about coming to school. ‘Oh, yeah!’ and to meet his friends and meeting his new fourth grade teacher,” Croghan says. “So, you can just see the smile and the glow on this young man’s face. They get excited and they forget some of the things, so we have to work at that at the beginning of the year and throughout the year.”

Croghan says the kids aren’t the only ones who are pumped up for the start of school year. “We look forward to it. We’re very excited about where we’re at with staff and where we’re at with our buildings,” Croghan says. “The custodial staff did a nice job of getting things ready to go.”

Like many Iowa school districts, he says CAM is still in need of a few teachers to fill the staff roster.

(By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic)