As summer starts to wind down, the familiar combination of excitement and dread of a new school year fills the air. It’s once again time to fill backpacks with fresh school supplies and for classrooms to come alive with the buzz of learning as students of all ages return to school. Parents, soak up the time with your kids home while you can! Students, enjoy your last few weeks of summer break!

Whether you’re a student preparing to rejoin your classmates, a parent navigating the intricate dance of schedules and routines or an educator ready to inspire young minds, the back-to-school season is a chance to embrace change. You have the opportunity to improve systems you put in place last year to accommodate everyone’s schedules and needs.

Together, we’ll unravel the secrets of a successful transition, sharing insights, tips and strategies from local professionals to make the most of this exciting time. The back-to-school season is all about fostering a positive mindset and developing effective habits that cultivate success. If we start out strong, we’ll last a lot longer before we get burnt out!

The evolving landscape of education can be hard to grasp, as emerging trends, technologies and methodologies shape the modern classroom. Parents, we know that education looks a lot different for your children than it did for you. Good news is, the professionals of Lincoln are here to help navigate the ever-changing terrain and equip you with the knowledge and tools needed for an outstanding educational journey. Local professionals are one call away from helping prepare students for the first day of school.

Items for Active Students and Parents

With school right around the corner and the list of back-to-school items growing, money can be tight. To help with the sting of expenses, Play It Again Sports ( offers cash or store credit for gently used sports and exercise equipment families clean out of their garages, closets and other areas.

Kyle McMurray
Play It Again Sports

“This is a great time to clean out the closets, ball bags and garages from last year!” suggested Owner Kyle McMurray. “Bring in your gently-used athletic equipment and get some cash to help pay for your back to school supplies. It’s also a great way to fund the coming year’s sports expenses. We pay cash on the spot for gently-used equipment for almost any sport, and then you can shop the selection we have in-store at well-below retail prices.”

Not only do they buy gently used athletic gear from families for cash, but have a full inventory of fall sports equipment right now. Football, softball, golf and even some gently used running shoes for everyday use are available. Play It Again Sports is ready to help get families prepared for the school year!

The start of the school year is focused on the kids and their needs, but Play It Again Sports doesn’t forget about the parents. They have exercise equipment for quick workouts in the few minutes parents have between games and practices. Trying to find a new workout routine? Let Play It Again Sports provide the equipment!

Back-to-School Shoes

Children rarely slow down, especially during school when they are surrounded by their friends. To help your kids keep up with their busy lifestyle, make sure they are fitted with a great pair of shoes from Lincoln Running Co. ( You might want to buy a pair too if you are a parent chasing them around!

Lincoln Running Co. takes shoes seriously, starting the fitting process as soon as someone walks into the store. First, the staff watches how you walk and looks for any irregularities. Then, they measure your feet and look at the wear on the soles of your shoes. They are dedicated to providing you with the best shoes for your unique needs.

Ann Ringlein
Lincoln Running, Co.

“We then look at the shape of their foot and the height of their arch and bring out four or five styles to try,” said Ann Ringlein. “What we always say is that the ones that you notice the least are going to be the best ones for your feet.”

Locally owned and operated, Lincoln Running Co. is committed to helping the community find the right shoes to be active. Along with shoes, they carry a variety of other helpful products that will encourage your kids, and yourself, to be active this school year. From shorts and tops to socks, headbands, headphones and smart watches, Lincoln Running Co. has you covered.

Food on the Go

The start of school means things are about to get a lot busier with team sports. With kids needing lunches and their time spent participating in extracurricular activities that travel anywhere and everywhere, finding a way to feed students can be challenging. At events, parents, coaches and administrators not only have to source meals for the kids, but coaches and support teams as well.

An affordable, hearty meal isn’t the easiest thing to come across in many restaurants nowadays, but Firehouse Subs® gives it everything they’ve got. They make it easy to order and receive all the catering food you may need, from box lunches to platter with everything you want. Founded in Jacksonville, Florida in 1994 by two brothers and former firefighters, Firehouse Subs is a brand built on decades of fire and police service and hot and hearty subs piled high with high quality meats and cheeses. Firehouse Subs is a restaurant chain with a passion for hearty and flavorful food, heartfelt service and public safety. With the ability to serve large groups of people efficiently, they are ideal for traveling sports teams – the athletes, coaches and parents can all get a great meal. Plus, they have excellent catering for celebrations, both large and small.

Driven by the passion of Firehouse Subs franchisees to serve their local communities, for the fifth consecutive year, based on recent Technomic Insight consumer data, Firehouse Subs was named the number one brand in the restaurant industry that “Supports Local Community Activities.” What better way to support your family than with something dedicated to supporting the local community?

Where Will Education Lead?

As little kids, we dream of becoming rock stars and astronauts – professions that are unrealistic for the vast majority of us. In reality, most of us don’t know what we want to do with our lives when we are in elementary, middle or high school. Most of us don’t figure it out until college, halfway through college or well after we’ve entered the workforce. Real life experiences shape our desires and interests, but wouldn’t it be great to have an idea of what we want our futures to look like before we try to make puzzle pieces fit where they don’t belong?

TradeGamz (, a new business striving to connect students to careers, offers a platform for students and job seekers to connect with professionals from various fields, businesses of all sorts and colleges/universities around the country. The platform helps people explore different industries and career opportunities. By learning from those who experience it every day instead of Google, the goal is for students and job seekers to better understand their opportunities. Plus, while students are learning about their opportunities, they are simultaneously building their profile and resume through TradeGamz – something they can use to apply directly with the professionals they are learning from.

TradeGamz, in collaboration with educators, works to give each student a unique learning experience. With over 200,000 career options at their fingertips, educators can use the platform to connect students with careers they are truly interested in.

Though the start of school can be overwhelming, the professionals of Lincoln are here to help make the transition as smooth as possible. The 2023-2024 school year is upon us, and everyone is ready to help however they can!