Back-to-school tips: For students and parents, getting to and from campus safely should be top priority

August 9, 2017 | 9:24 am


With the close of each summer comes the return of school, including back-to-school shopping, hectic schedules, sports, and seemingly never-ending homework.

In fact, Chain | Cohn | Stiles recently helped our local students get in the school spirit as a sponsor of Childspree, which takes hundreds of underprivileged children back-to-school shopping at Kohl’s. The annual program organized by the Bakersfield Active 20-30 Club provides students with a backpack full of school supplies and $125 for clothes. Volunteers, including Chain | Cohn | Stiles attorneys and staff, helped the students pick out new digs.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles takes this time of the year to remind parents and students to keep safety at the top of mind.

“Whether its students who are walking, cycling or taking the bus to school, parents dropping off their children, or other pedestrians and drivers around school campuses, safety should always be the top priority,” said David K. Cohn, managing partner for Chain | Cohn | Stiles. “We want everyone to arrive to class, and back home, safely.”

Here are a few helpful safety tips for parents and students alike:

 

STROLL TO SCHOOL

  • Map a safe way for your children to walk to school or to the bus stop. Always use sidewalks or walking paths.
  • Check for moving cars at driveways and intersections.
  • Obey all traffic signs and crossing guards.
  • Cross streets safely. Stop at the curb or edge of the street; look left, right, left and behind you for traffic; wait until no traffic is coming and begin crossing; keep looking for traffic until you have finished crossing; walk and don’t run across the street; and don’t use your phone when crossing the street.
  • Work with other parents in the neighborhood to ensure that children in the neighborhood are supervised closely to and from school. Also, identify “safe houses,” homes of neighbors who your child is familiar with if your child is scared or needs help on the way to and from school.
  • Point out places they should avoid, such as vacant lots, alleyways and construction areas.
  • Encourage your children to use the “buddy system.”
  • Teach children to always be aware of their surroundings. Be aware of slow moving vehicles or parked vehicles that appear to be occupied.
  • Parents should also make sure the child knows his or her phone number, address, how to get in touch with a parent at work, how to get in touch with another trusted adult, and how to dial 9-1-1.

 

CYCLING TO CLASS

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Ride in the direction of traffic.
  • Watch for opening car doors.
  • Wear bright clothing to help drivers see you.
  • Install reflectors on the rear, front, pedals and spokes.
  • Install lights on the front and back of your bike.

 

WHEELS ON THE BUS

If children ride a bus to school, they should plan to get to their bus stop early and stand back from the curb while waiting for the bus to arrive. Other safety tips include:

  • Wait to board the bus until it has come to a complete stop and the driver or attendant has signaled to get on.
  • Tell children they should only board their bus, and never an alternate one.
  • Always stay in clear view of the bus driver and never walk behind the bus.
  • Cross the street at the corner, obey traffic signals and stay in the crosswalk.
  • Never dart out into the street, or cross between parked cars.

For more school bus safety information, check out this previous Blogging for Justice blog post on the subject.

 

DRIVING

If children ride in a car to get to school, they should always wear a seat belt. Younger children should use car seats or booster seats until the lap-shoulder belt fits properly and ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old.

If a teenager is driving to school, parents should mandate that he or she use seat belts. Drivers should not use their cell phone to text or make calls, and should avoid eating or drinking while driving.

As for parents and other drivers, it’s important to remember the following:

  • Obey the traffic laws.
  • Follow the ingress and egress patterns at your school.
  • If you want to avoid an unpleasant interaction with law enforcement, leave early, follow the rules of the road and be courteous.
  • If you want to walk your child to his or her classroom, park off-site so you are not creating a traffic jam.
  • Drivers should know what the yellow and red bus signals mean and be aware that children are out walking or biking to school and slow down – especially in residential areas and school zones. Yellow flashing lights mean the bus is getting ready to stop and motorists should slow down and be prepared to stop. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign indicate the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off. Drivers in both directions must stop their vehicles and wait until the lights go off, the stop sign is back in place, and the bus is moving before they can start driving again.
  • Pull into a passenger loading zone for drop-off. If there is no passenger loading zone or any space available, park in a legal parking space farther away.
  • Drop your child off at the curb on the school side of the street rather than crossing into incoming traffic or having your child run across the street.
  • Don’t park in the loading zone or in a school bus zone. Also, never double park; this creates an unsafe situation for children who are often difficult to see between cars.

For more school-related safety tips — including at school safety and bullying prevention advice — visit a previous Chain | Cohn | Stiles blog post here.

— Alyssa Wood for Chain | Cohn | Stiles contributed to this article

———

If you or someone you know is injured to and from school at the fault of someone else, contact the accident and injury lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Stiles by calling (661) 323-4000, or visit the website chainlaw.com.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles sponsors back-to-school shopping spree for local disadvantaged youth

August 3, 2016 | 6:00 am


The 2016-17 school year is nearly here, which means many parents and children are preparing to go back-to-school shopping.

Unfortunately, that may not be the case for many underprivileged children in Kern County whose families are not be able to afford new clothes and supplies for the upcoming school year. But more than 200 of these local students and families won’t have to worry this year thanks to the Bakersfield Active 20-30 Club‘s annual “Childspree” back-to-school shopping program.

And Chain | Cohn | Stiles, for the third year, is partnering with the nonprofit in the annual program as a sponsor.

The event takes dozens of youth shopping at Kohl’s department stores in Bakersfield, and this year will be held on Saturday, Aug. 6. Each child is given a backpack filled with school supplies along with a $100 Kohl’s gift card for clothes. Volunteers, including several attorneys and employees at Chain | Cohn | Stiles, help the children pick out their clothes.

“To see the children smile from ear to ear when they realize they will have a new pair of shoes for the school year, or new jeans, is amazing,” said David Cohn, managing partner of Chain | Cohn | Stiles. “We’re just happy to be able to help some of our local families in need.”

Along with Chain | Cohn | Stiles and Active 20-30 Club of Bakersfield, other participating groups include CASA of Kern County, Community Connection for Child Care, California Youth Connection Kern County, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County.

The event is truly helpful for many underprivileged families, and one that children and volunteers alike look forward to, said Brain Dean, former president of the Bakersfield Active 20-30 Club, in last year’s coverage of the event by The Bakersfield Californian.

“I feel it is important to help children in need so we can provide them some great experiences while growing up, as well as help them become successful, confident members of society,” Dean said.

Some past volunteers include the law firm’s very own worker’s compensation* lawyer James Yoro and wife Rev Yoro, as well as personal injury attorneys Neil Gehlawat and Matt Clark. Click here to view photos from past year’s event.

Active 20-30 Club of Bakersfield was founded in 1928, and hosts several events each year to benefit local children’s charities. For more information on “Childspree” and other Active 20-30 Club events, visit www.active2030.org. And to see more of Chain | Cohn | Stiles’ community involvement, please visit our Community web page by clicking here.

— By Evelyn Andrade for Chain | Cohn | Stiles

———

MEDIA COVERAGE

———

*Notice:  Making a false or fraudulent worker’s compensation claim is a felony subject to up to five (5) years in a prison or a fine of up to $150,000.00 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

Anxious about the start of the school year? Follow these tips for a stress-free back-to-school

August 12, 2015 | 9:11 am


School starts on Aug. 19 this year for many Bakersfield and Kern County students, and along with it comes the usual back-to-school shopping — and the danger of fraud.

Parents will use credit cards and other means of payment that contain their personal information, which may expose them to fraud. But it’s not just the parents who are at risk. Each year, nearly 500,000 children under the age of 18 fall victim to identity theft, according to credit.com.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles, with the help of KERO Channel 23 and credit.com, has provided safety tips below to help protect you and your children from becoming victims of fraud.

And if the thought of being taken advantage of financially leaves you anxious, in addition to the usual back-to-school jitters for students and parents, be sure to read the tips below on how to prevent and cope with anxiety.

Protect Against Fraud

The start of school and back-to-school shopping go hand-in-hand. In fact, Chain | Cohn | Stiles recently sponsored underprivileged children in the annual “Childspree” back-to-school shopping program.

Follow these tips below to make sure your shopping experience is a joyous one.

  • Do not give out a social security number and/or birth date without knowledge on how it is going to be used or disposed of.
  • Know who is going to see the information once it’s collected. Many organizations perform meticulous background checks on staff and volunteers. Others don’t. If in doubt, write, “information to come.”
  • Some doctor’s offices still ask for patient’s’ Social Security numbers. Unless it’s needed to bill insurance, skip it.
  • Students ages 18 to 24 face the highest risk of identity theft. They often live in dorms or share apartments where others can access their belongings. Before they head back to campus, equip your college students with the right tools and habits.
  • Shred pre-approved credit offers. Dumpster-diving is an epidemic on campuses because thieves know most students throw these offers away unopened.
  • Lock up important papers like student loan and enrollment documents so they won’t be left lying around where anyone could see them.
  • Use strong alphanumeric passwords with combinations of special characters and capitalization and update security software.
  • If your phone is lost, contact your provider immediately.

Back-to-School Anxiety

Starting a new school year can be exciting. It can also make students anxious.

Being a little anxious is normal at the start of a new school year; however, for some students, it can slowly grow over the course of a school year and can discourage students from attending and performing well in school.

Some students may shut down and withdraw socially, or keep asking for assurance. KERO Channel 23 has provided the following steps that parents can take to help their children become less anxious about going to school and starting a new school year.

  • Attend open house or orientation activities that allow children to see their classroom and meet their teachers. That removes some of the unknowns.
  • Establish a routine and stick to it. A predictable routine at home can be calming.
  • Discuss the positive aspects of going back to school, like seeing friends again and extracurricular activities.
  • Talk about your own experiences with anxiety and how you cope. Praise children when they face their fears and acknowledge those positive aspects.

— By Jessica Magee for Chain | Cohn | Stiles

———-

Safety is of most importance to the Bakersfield personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Stiles. If you or someone you know has been injured due to the fault of another, contact the law firm at 661-323-4000, or visit the website chainlaw.com.

———-

OTHER MEDIA

Chain | Cohn | Stiles takes underprivileged children back-to-school shopping in ‘Childspree’ for second year

August 4, 2015 | 11:11 am


The start of the 2015-16 school year for most students throughout Bakersfield and Kern County is right around the corner.

But for some underprivileged students in the San Joaquin Valley, they are not able to participate in the joys of back-to-school shopping. For those students, they are denied the opportunity to buy new clothes and school supplies at the start of each new school year.

The Bakersfield personal injury and workers’ compensation* law firm Chain | Cohn | Stiles partnered once again with Active 20-30 Club of Bakersfield to sponsor underprivileged children in the annual “Childspree” back-to-school shopping program. The program allows sponsors to ease the mind of more than 200 local students with a morning of shopping at both Kohl’s department stores in Bakersfield, this year held on Aug. 1. Each child is also given a new backpack filled with new school supplies, along with a $100 Kohl’s gift card to buy new clothes.

Ten employees from Chain | Cohn | Stiles volunteered for this year’s Childspree, accompanying children of various ages through Kohl’s to help them choose new shoes and clothes. This was the second year in a row that Chain | Cohn | Stiles took part in the nonprofit program.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles volunteers included injury lawyer Neil Gehlawat and workers’ compensation attorney James Yoro, with his family.

“Many families in Kern County unfortunately don’t have the means to provide new clothes to their children for the new school year,” said Yoro, a partner at Chain | Cohn | Stiles. “If we can ease the burden for at least some local children by providing them with new clothes for school, we’re happy to help. We understand that for many of them, this will be their only new clothes for the year.”

Other groups involved in Childspree include Bakersfield Rotary, CASA of Kern County, Community Connection for Child Care, California Youth Connection Kern County, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County.

Founded in 1928, the Active 20-30 Cub of Bakersfield is part of a national nonprofit group with the main goal of “providing young adults the opportunity for personal growth, friendship and leadership development, while improving the quality of life for the children of Kern County.” Each branch of the club raises funds for underprivileged children in their community. In addition to Childspree, the Active 20-30 Club of Bakersfield hosts other community events the Christmas Experience, which provides gifts to underprivileged families throughout Kern County.

For more information on Childspree and other Active 20-30 Club programs, go to www.active2030.org. And to view other community involvement efforts by Chain | Cohn | Stiles, visit the Community page here.

— By Jessica Magee for Chain | Cohn | Stiles

_ _ _ _ _

MEDIA

CCS takes underprivileged kids back-to-school shopping in ‘Children’s Shopping Spree’

July 29, 2014 | 10:26 am


The first day of the 2014-15 school year is fast approaching for most Kern County students, which means back-to-school shopping is in full swing.

But for some underprivileged students in Bakersfield and Kern County, there may not be any back-to-school shopping. For some students, new clothes and school supplies to start the school year are a luxury.

Thanks to the Active 20-30 Club of Bakersfield and sponsors like the Bakersfield personal injury law firm Chain | Cohn | Stiles, several hundred students won’t have to worry. The 20-30 Club’s “Children’s Shopping Spree” takes more than 200 local disadvantaged students for a day of shopping at Kohl’s department stores in Bakersfield where they are given a new backpack filled with school supplies, and a $100 gift card for them to spend on new clothes.

This year’s event, formerly known as “Childspree,” will be held on Saturday, Aug. 2 at both Bakersfield Kohl’s locations.

Sponsors are also invited to escort the children through Kohl’s and help them choose their new clothes. The staff and attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Stiles, who are committed to various community service events and activities, are proud to be able to help with Children’s Shopping Spree this year.

Active 20-30 Club is a national nonprofit group — with a branch in Bakersfield — that focuses on giving back to underprivileged children through various fundraisers and community events. While the Active 20-30 Club’s focus is on children, each city’s chapter also has its focus for its respective community. The local club has raised millions for local children’s charities. Other programs hosted by the club include the annual Festival of Beers and the Christmas Experience, where the club provides and delivers Christmas gifts, a Christmas tree and dinner to families who otherwise cannot afford them.

For the Children’s Shopping Spree, members of the Bakersfield community reach out to local groups to choose children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to re-stock their wardrobes and pencil cases before the school year.

“To start the year with new clothes, new shoes and a new backpack is very important to all of our children, but it makes a huge impact on our teens,” Renee Stancil, youth connection-program director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County, told Bakersfield Life Magazine before last year’s event.

Besides Chain | Cohn | Stiles, the Active 20-30 Club of Bakersfield also teams up with local groups such as Bakersfield Rotary, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Kern County, Community Connection for Child Care, California Youth Connection and Boys and Girls Club of Kern County.

For more information and to donate, go to www.active2030.org.

————-

UPDATE: Several local media outlets covered the “Children’s Shopping Spree.” Check out the coverage below:

KERO-23 (ABC): Kohl’s, Bakersfield club ease financial worries of back-to-school purchases with shopping spree

The Bakersfield Californian: Children in need get help with back-to-school supplies

————

UPDATE 2: To see pictures from the event, go HERE.