WHETHER HIKING ‘THRU’ OR JUST VISITING, THE APPALACHIAN OFFERS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE.

Lowcountry residents might be surprised to learn that the world’s most-famous long-distance trail isn’t as far from our beaches and marshes as it might seem. Springer Mountain in Georgia is the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, and it’s only a six-hour drive from Hilton Head Island. The trail also passes through Hot Springs, North Carolina, a little more than five hours away, so it’s not hard for area mountain lovers to get their fix.

NEW MOBILE CLASSROOMS OFFER TEMPORARY SOLUTIONS

Overcrowding solutionsNew mobile classrooms this year at two Bluffton-area schools will ease overcrowding this year, but the problem of growth will require a more permanent solution in years to come.

This summer, the Beaufort County School District is adding one modular building with six classrooms at Pritchardville Elementary School, as well as a modular building at River Ridge Academy that will feature eight classrooms. Officials say both sets of classrooms should be ready by the time the school year starts. 

TIPS TO HELP YOUR CHILD ENJOY READING

In today’s world of Instagram, YouTube and video games, it can be hard to get kids interested in books.

But for some — like Margaret Zendzian — reading sparks the imagination in a way that technology doesn’t.

DESPITE THE RISE OF COMPUTERS, CURSIVE HAS ITS PLACE IN THE CLASSROOM.

Communicating with a far-off friend? Send an email. Writing a term paper or a report? Crack open the laptop. Paying bills? Log onto the internet.

A LOOK AT A FEW OF THE LOWCOUNTRY’S MOST POPULAR SCHOOLS AND INSTITUTIONS.

DESIGNER DOGS ARE GAINING POPULARITY IN THE LOWCOUNTRY

Move over, Labs and beagles. There are some new dogs in town: schnoodles, puggles, cockapoos and bassetoodles, for starters. These “designer” breeds are the top dogs right now.

Designer dogs may sound like elite, sophisticated, high-priced canines — and in many cases, they are — but “designer dog” is just a term that means mixed breed.

dogsDOES YOUR DOG HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A GOOD CITIZEN?

There’s a test and accompanying certificate to prove that dogs know how to behave well in public. This is the AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test, and thousands of dogs nationwide pass this exam every year. Why do owners want to do this rigorous testing of behavior, manners and basic obedience skills? Passing this test indicates that you have a well-mannered dog who can be trusted to behave well in public places and in your living environment. Some hotels and apartments now require that dogs be CGC-certified in order to be there. Also, many therapy dog organizations require the Canine Good Citizen certificate in order to volunteer in the community. Locally, Hos-Pets, the therapy dog program at Hospice Care of the Lowcountry, requires this, as does PAWS to Read, a volunteer group which helps kids at the Boys and Girls Club with reading.

stateofmind“BLUFFTON STATE OF MIND” — BY MARGE AGIN

A photographer for more than 40 years, Marge Agin started out shooting weddings and portraits. But she really wanted to work in fine art photography.

Now she does. Her work can be seen at Four Corners Fine Art & Framing in Old Town Bluffton. It can also be found in her book, “Bluffton State of Mind.”

WENDY JACOBSFIDO AND FLUFFY DESERVE TASTY TREATS, TOO

Dog-loving film buffs can tell you about Rin Tin Tin, a German shepard rescued by an American soldier during World War I. He became a box office canine star in Hollywood with 27 films to his name. Or Uggie from “The Artist”, who put his paws in cement at the Hollywood Walk of Fame — deservedly taking partial credit for the film’s Oscar for Best Picture. Other dogs we love from the silver screen include Toto, Lassie, all 101 of those adorable Dalmatians, Benji and, of course, Marley. But the dog who matters to us most is the one who greets us at the door every day with a tail wag and a friendly bark — and big eyes that beg for a treat.

SPONSOR A NEST TO HELP SAVE SEA TURTLES

Loggerhead turtles returned to Hilton Head Island when the nesting season began in May. As of mid- June, 79 nests had been laid on the island’s beaches. Many locals and visitors hope for the rare chance to see a female nest on the beach at night and eagerly anticipate the emergence of hatchlings. A few lucky beachgoers will witness the baby turtles’ first crawl into the ocean.