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Central Chapel AME will host "Turn Up," a back-to-school event for youth and others on Friday, August 14.

Central Chapel AME will host "Turn Up," a back-to-school event for youth and others on Friday, August 14.

BLOG— Back-to-school with Central Chapel AME

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Twenty years past my last graduation, I still get a touch of the back-to-school blues.

It isn’t that I didn’t (mostly) like school. I even felt excited to leave the long, sometimes lonely afternoons of summer behind for new books, fresh pencils and the satisfying smack of lockers banging shut. But on the muggiest days of late summer, when my bathing suit never seemed to dry between trips to the pool, melancholy slipped in.

I hear a lot of people say how energized they feel by fall’s approach, and I understand that, too. However removed we are from agricultural pursuits, the old rhythms remain. Harvesting is hard work, but (in a good season) an occasion for celebration and joy. Still: the growing season’s winding down. Everything planted in hope ends, in bounty or bust, at the doorstep of fall.

I may never actually go “back to school” again, but every August, some part of me does. My heart beats a little faster. My stomach does a few off-the-diving-board flips. I suddenly simply must do those things I could have spent the summer doing — but didn’t. (Like my summer project, some years ago, of learning to knit. It was a great idea on a few rainy days off from work, but less compelling to handle all that cozy wool when temperatures soared over 90 and my days were once again full.)

So this year, I may turn up at “Turn Up,” a special back-to-school service for all youth at Central Chapel AME Church on High Street. Guest speaker Rev. Vernon Blue, of the United AME Church in Xenia, will be facilitating a “high energy” program geared to youth, said Central Chapel’s pastor, Rev. Dwight Smith.

“The program is designed to give encouragement to everyone involved in education: students, parents, teachers and administrators,” Rev. Smith said. “Our focus is on praise, blessing and lifting people up.” Held on Friday, August 14 (a revision from a previously published date) at Central Chapel AME, the program will run from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Afterwards, attendees will convene next door in the Family Life Center for refreshments and goodie bags with a couple of small back-to-school items. (“Keep in mind we didn’t do your shopping for you!” Rev. Smith cautioned, laughing.)

The wistful forever-student in me could use a little lifting up.

“Turn Up” is happening this Friday, August 14, at 6:30 p.m. at Central Chapel AME Church in Yellow Springs. Call for details: 767-3061.


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