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2 B a c k t o S c h o o l / M u S i c & D a n c e - S u p p l e M e n t t o t h e W i n n i p e g F r e e p r e S S - S a t u r D a y , a u g u S t 1 6 , 2 0 1 4 MORE THAN 30 ACTING CLASSES FOR KIDS, TEENS AND ADULTS REGISTER TODAY PTESCHOOL.CA 204 925 5253 Formoreinformationcontact 284-0250 ✺classesfornewborns, tots,tykeswith parents ✺classesforchildren 4-12 ✺child&parentclasses ✺adultworkshops ✺birthdayparties By Jennifer McFee For the Free Press T here's nothing quite like a stack of brand-new school supplies to help build excitement for the new school year. But as parents prepare to purchase all those must-have items, stress can mount due to the cost and time required for the task. Claudia Schmid, general manager of Staples on Pembina Highway, offers a few tips to make the process as easy as possible. "Mid-August is good time to shop for school supplies. It's starting to get busy, but it's not overwhelmingly busy. We are fully set up, so we have everything that we're expecting to get in," she said. "We'll have lots of flyer specials with value items featured. Parents should take time to skim through them to see the different things that are offered. We have a 100-per-cent price guarantee, so even if you come in with a flyer from somewhere else, we guarantee to match it for you so you don't have to run around." Consistent with last year's trends, colour remains key for kids, she says. "There's a lot of nice bright colours that they can match with the fashion. Last year, we had a lot of requests for that, so there are a lot of pinks and oranges for the girls and more of the blues for the boys. There are a lot of pencil cases that match the backpacks, and there are some really cool patterns this year," Schmid said. "We sell all of the basics: your binders, pencils, markers, rulers, geometry sets, loose leaf, notebooks, backpacks. We carry a lot of brand names as well, like Reebok for binders and backpacks." This year, Staples has also teamed up with the Me to We initiative to offer an exclusive line of eco-friendly school supplies. With each purchase, kids in developing countries receive pre-determined gifts. Using an eight-digit code, families can track exactly where their purchases are making an impact. "If you buy a Me to We water bottle, for example, they give clean water for a year," Schmid explained. "When you buy magnets, it's medicine that they donate. It's really neat." As well, Staples works with Winnipeg Harvest to provide school supplies to families in need. Monetary donations can be made at the till, and drop-off bins are available for supplies. From a teacher's perspective, Marlene Meaden also offers helpful hints for parents as the new school year approaches. "In my school division, the teachers actually buy the school supplies for the whole year. Across the board, we ask the families for $30. It's a really great way of equalizing things on multiple levels," said Meaden, a Grade 4 and 5 teacher in the Seven Oaks School Division. "Socioeconomically, the families don't have to feel the burden. No family can buy school supplies for $30, but we can use the power of bulk, so our school division has suppliers we place orders with." This process also allows teachers to buy items according to their personal preference, such as colour-coded notebooks for every subject. At the same time, parents aren't tasked with finding specific items on a long list. As for the kids, they feel less social pressure to conform with classmates because they all have the exact same supplies. "There's this huge competition amongst kids about who has the coolest this and coolest that," Meaden said. "I like the fact we create an even playing field." For other parents who need to hunt for supplies, Meaden suggests re-using last year's leftovers to help lower costs. "As a teacher, if I could give parents some advice, I'd tell them to not be afraid to use the stuff they already have. A lot of times, they'll go to a major retailer and just grab whatever's on their list. They might be thinking, 'Why am I buying these pens when I have a junk drawer full of this stuff?'" she said. "But I also know that as a kid, there was nothing I loved more than having brand new school supplies. I think parents can use their discretion. If they know what they need and they shop the flyers, they can save some money. They shouldn't be afraid to go with what's on sale or what they have at home already. If there's a way you can save money, do it. The less stress that you can have, the better." By Lindsey Ward For the Free Press W hat kids wear on their first days back to school are more than just clothes — they're a style statement for the year to come. Most parents want their children to be able to express themselves, but not to the point where they have to take out a second mortgage. "Target has a really cute tagline this year: Every little thing is a really big deal," said Tina Barkley, Target Canada's back- to-school expert. "I know that I loved back to school and that's exactly how I felt about it. "It is (a big deal). You want the right shoes and the right shirt or those couple of things that you really feel are cool because it's a way of expressing yourself as a kid. For parents, you really want them to feel that way, but you also really need to save money." Barkley, who is busy rounding up new clothing and supplies for her eight- and 10-year-old daughters, says Target is stocked with reasonably priced on-trend back to school fashions — including a few exclusive items kids won't be able to resist, like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hoodie to coincide with the release of the new film and S Sport runners by Skechers. "As far as boys go, things are really being pulled straight from the gym," she said. "Varsity jackets, baseball Ts, lots of stripes, colour blocking and graphic Ts … Bright pops of yellow with blue and orange and a little bit of camo. I think that gym look is going to be bigger with younger and older kids." And of course, no boy — whether he's going into Grade 2 or 12 — should be without some new jeans this season, preferably a straight, relaxed fit. "Denim is enormous," Barkley said, adding Target will be selling one denim style for a wallet-friendly $9. Jeans are also a staple for girls, except they're more often referred to as skinnies and come in all shades and patterns. (Polka dots? Yes, please!) Animal prints and bright pink and purple tops embellished with glitter, foil, lace and florals rule the girls' sections across all age groups this season — and chic moto jackets also make for a stylish layering piece, says Barkley. "I think what Target has done an excellent job at doing is dolling down some of the older age trends. So even though the leopard print might be popular for adults, you see it in pink and pale taupe in a cute little dress for girls. Kids always want what the older kids have and it's a matter of finding something that's age appropriate." Mom Lisa Litke, whose eight-year-old daughter starts Grade 3 this fall, agrees not all clothes are age appropriate. High heels, short shorts and skirts and tank tops are not on her back to school shopping list, but she will be embracing her daughter's newfound love for skinnies and tunic tops over the sweatpants and graphic Ts she favoured in past years. "I don't know if it's an age thing, but she's moved on to skinnies and longer tops, and she's into headbands," Litke said. Other hot headwear this year includes ball caps for boys and jazzed up fedoras for girls. And no back to school outfit is complete without that perfect backpack. Barkley says Target also has lunch bags and pencil cases to match the essential book-lugging bag. Every kid also wants to walk the halls in new shoes. Now trending are chunky boots and ballet flats for girls, sneakers and slip-on dock shoes for boys and Converse high tops for both genders. As usual, it's all about the name brand kicks. Mother of three Lynn Avison says her seven- and 11-year-old sons are increasingly more conscious about the labels on their shoes. "Osiris is the brand that's hot now," she said. "It starts at a pretty young age. All of my sons' friends are wearing the brand name runners so you feel like you should be dressing your kids in brand name runners too." Litke's daughter is also asking for Osiris high tops to pair with her skinnies: "I'm not a fan, but all the kids are wearing them," she said. When it comes to the gym, comfort is key. Canadian Footwear is a local go-to store for non-marking soles, especially from the brand New Balance, which caters to all shapes and sizes of feet. Kids can go up one or even two shoe sizes over the summer, so new gym shoes are a priority. "It's OK to allow room for some growth," said Canadian Footwear's director of sales Rich Hildebrand, "but some parents want too much room, and if a kid's really active, he needs a shoe that fits or he could experience foot issues down the road." New Balance offers styles with stability to help kids with flat feet, as well as removable insoles and various widths. And while laces provide the best support, Hildebrand says Velcro is still a viable option — especially for kids from kindergarden to Grade 6. "Most of the schools are looking for Velcro shoes. They don't want to be waiting for 30 kids to tie up their shoes." Timing is everything when it comes to back-to-school shopping — and if you can fit boots into the budget, Hildebrand highly recommends it. Canadian Footwear brings in a selection of winter boots at the end of August so parents can avoid having to bring the kids again a month or so later. "Kids are the first ones that need boots when the snow falls." And while Litke doesn't want to think about snow yet, she realizes the early bird gets a far better selection of the trends, and plans to look for style and deals at Joe, Carter's Oshkosh, Costco and Target. "I have to go out early to get the sizes and selections I want," she said, adding her daughter's excitement about back-to-school shopping makes up for the time and money spent on all the new clothes. "She wants to make it a whole day event. 'Can we go for lunch? Can I maybe get a pedicure before I go back to school, Mommy?' I like to take her out and see the excitement of 'I want to wear this on my first day.'" Avison says her sons, who are going into Grade 6 and Grade 2, are trendy but also very straightforward when it comes to getting dressed. "It's just skinny jeans and I like to put them in a nice collared shirt, or T-shirts with logos on them which you can get anywhere. "Boys are pretty easy," she said — unless you consider gadgets to be fashion accessories. "I think with my 11-year- old, he's more into, 'I'm going to need my own iPad soon.'" Forregistra�onformsandfurtherdetailsat: *Privateandgrouplessonsin cello,piano,violaandviolin. *BabySuzukiClassfor0–3 yearolds. Beau�fulhearts,minds,&musicsince1969 Discover your child's potential! Claudia Schmid, general manager of the Pembina Highway Staples store, shows off popular backpacks for back-to-school shoppers. Photo by Darcy Finley In LINDENWOODS Peart MUSIC STUDIO Piano,Guitar,Voice,Violin, Flute&TheoryStudio RosemariePeart,RegisteredMusicTeacher 106BrentcliffeDrive Tel./Fax:(204)489-9048 •Ages 4 and up – Beginners to ARCT •Over 35 years experience •Concert Artists with excellence in teaching UDIO UDIO olin, Teacher -9048 HARLEQUIN DANCE SHOES 375HargraveSt. 204-943-6400 5-1549St.Mary'sRd. (atMeadowood) 204-221-5480

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