Did you know 2020 is a leap year? Older children and even adults often wonder why we need a leap year every four years? Explaining the answer to children may entice more questions, which is always a good thing, however, you need to be ready. The short answer is to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year.

You see, we fall behind about six hours each year. To keep everything in order, every four years an extra day is added to the calendar. The additional day is always February 29, which is called a leap day. This year, February 29 falls on a Saturday. Perhaps you know people who were born on February 29. This is always a fun time for them as it should be for everyone. So make some fun plans to celebrate leap day.

While leap year occurs only once every four years, locals know February means Daytona Speed Weeks. This year, the car races kick off on Saturday, February 8 and end with the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 16. Presidents’ Day is Monday, February 17, which is a federal holiday which makes Speed Weeks time a good time for visitors to take a vacation to Daytona Beach.

Many families in our area take “staycations’ during the month of February, too. This is a great time to visit theme parks and get a hotel room for prices much less than what you would pay during the tourist season. There are so many wonderful things to do within a one hour drive of our area. Taking a staycation makes a lot of sense and is a great value. In addition, it is a great way to break up the doldrums of winter.

You know when you stop and think about it; the month of February is a fun month. With Ground Hog Day, Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day, our Daytona Speed Weeks, and this year Leap Day on February 29. February is indeed packed full of many opportunities to celebrate and enjoy.

Whatever you decide to do with your children, take the time to teach them about the meaning of the holiday or the event. Make your staycation an annual event and enjoy everything Central Florida has to offer.

Carl Persis

Volusia County School Board,
District 4