First day of school proves exciting for students, bittersweet for parents

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - An exciting day for many students who are ready to see old friends and learn some new things, but it’s a bittersweet day for parents.

“It's sad. I'm not ready for them to go back to school," says Jenna Judy, a parent of two elementary school students.

“Bittersweet. I'm happy that they're getting out of the house and get to see their friends. I'm sad because my youngest one is starting kindergarten now," says Charmaine Bryant, a parent of two elementary school students and one middle school student.

The first day of school brings a lot of changes, from increased traffic, to the sight of school buses. But, changes to the national breakfast and lunch program are also impacting families in Fayette County.

More than 14,000 students, at 27 schools in the district, will eat breakfast and lunch free of charge this school year. At least 40 percent of the children at participating schools qualify for federal assistance.

Most of the schools that have this option are elementary schools. Families who paid for their children’s meals in the past will save more than $600 over the course of the school year.

“I think it's a great idea," Judy says. "There's a lot of families, a lot of single mothers out there that just can't afford it."

"I know some kids can forget their lunch money, some parents can forget to pay and this way they can eat and don't have to worry about turning in money or having the money if they lose it," Bryant says. "I think it's a very good idea."

The total savings for families in the 27 participating schools is more than $2 million.

In addition to elementary schools, the free meal program will also be offered at four Fayette County middle schools, Bryan Station High School and three special programs.

A reminder for drivers: traffic will be heavy for the rest of the week during the morning commute. Lexington police say they only had to write a few citations Wednesday morning for vehicles passing school buses illegally.

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