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Summer job benefits student in many ways

By Marge Eberts and Peggy Gisler

King Features Syndicate

Q: My son, a junior in high school, has never had a part-time job. Do you think that there are any benefits to his getting one this summer and possibly during his senior year? — Unemployed

A: High-school students need to fill their summer days with activities. They can work, take classes, participate in sports, art and music programs, or volunteer. Any of these activities or a combination of them is definitely a plus on a college or job application. Colleges and employers frown upon summers just spent lazing around home or a pool.

A job in the summer or during the school year could benefit your son by teaching him how to handle responsibility, manage his time, deal with adults and get a glimpse into the working world. Besides, busy teenagers usually stay out of trouble. And the additional responsibility of a job can increase a student’s self-esteem.

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As far as the school year goes, most research shows that students who work part time during high school are typically better students. Keep in mind that not all students are capable of handling a part-time job during the school year. A job can interfere with essential study time or important extracurricular activities. However, by their senior year, the experience of having a job is usually a very rewarding one for most students.

Q: I know it is getting late, but I would like to throw a high-school graduation party for my son. He’ll be graduating in a couple of weeks. I don’t know where to begin. Who do you invite? When do you have it? What kind of food is served? — Party Planning

A: By now, the dates for school-sponsored graduation parties and many home parties have been set. First of all, talk over with your son the type of party that he would like. Would he like an open house with family and friends, a family party with all the relatives, or a party with his friends? Be sure to talk frankly about how much can be spent on the party. Next, it's time to decide when and where it will be held.

If he would like to have a party for his fellow graduates and no good dates are still available, consider having this celebration later in the summer. The graduates will appreciate getting together again before they go off to college or jobs.

Invitations can be mailed or e-mailed to guests. Be sure to send them out with sufficient warning of when the party will be. Don't forget to give the date and time of the party as well as an idea of what to wear (dressy or casual clothes). If there will be an activity such as swimming, dancing or picnicking, mention this too.

The type of party and number of guests dictate the food that will be served. Typically, a "congratulations graduate(s)" cake is served. And decorations can be done in the school's colors.

If you want loads of ideas about graduation party themes, decorations and food, go online. Just use a search engine to investigate "high-school graduation parties."

Send questions to Dear Teacher, in care of the Post-Bulletin, Box 395, Carmel, IN 46082-0395; or e-mail: DearTeacher@excite.com.

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