The Stevenson Elementary Family Resource Center has been busy with the beginning of the new school year. Following its mission of removing and/or eliminating non-cognitive barriers to a student’s success, the FRC has brought in health programming to help ensure a healthier building, personal safety programming for students, and provided pizzas for Dinner with Dad, an event that encourages student/parent involvement from dads and other male role models in our students’ lives. The FRC has provided or ensured provision of schools supplies and basic clothing needs for many of our students. Additionally, fifty three of our students will be receiving a much needed new pair of shoes from the Russellville Rotary Club project Happy Feet = Learning Feet, and thirty-three of our students will soon begin receiving weekend food backpack through the Backpack Buddies program. The FRC has been providing several students with weekend food since the beginning of school, and will continue until the Feeding America program begins Friday, September 11.
The Logan County Health Department provided manpower to provide every student in the building with a review of proper hand washing along with proper techniques for covering coughs and sneezes. Since the number one way to stop the spread of bacteria that cause illnesses such as colds, flu, and stomach bugs is to wash one’s hands, these short reviews help keep our students in classrooms and attendance numbers closer to where we want them to be. The representatives provided individual classroom instruction to Kindergarten through grade 2 during their Social Studies/Science portion of the day, and to grades 3 through 5 during their regular Health and PE class times. Pre-school classrooms were provided the GloGerms program where a lotion is used to represent germs and bacteria that is left behind when hands are not properly washed. Additionally, Logan Memorial Hospital Infection Control Specialist, Employee Health and Emergency Management employee, Joyce Noe, R.N., presented a brief program to all students and staff at our monthly Town Meeting that covered the importance of doing all one can to stop the spread of germs. She briefly explained what was required academically to pursue a career in nursing, and what students could do now to prepare for this. She, too, stressed that the number one way to control the spread of bacteria and germs is to wash hands thoroughly and often.
The Barren River Area Health Department Mighty Molar team returned to SES Friday, August 28, and saw sixty-one students during their time here. Twenty-three Kindergarten and first grade students, not having the required Kentucky Dental Screening and Examination Form on file, were seen and forms were completed. The remaining thirty-eight students, all of whom do not regularly visit a dentist office, received exams and cleanings. Due to severe issues that needed immediate attention, three of those thirty-eight students were referred to local dentists for follow-up visits.
Hope Harbor provided the manpower to bring the personal safety classes to our students during their regular Library/Guidance class time. My Body Belongs to Me is geared toward pre-school through grade three, and Telling is Smart is geared toward grades four through six. Both programs provide a safety lesson that defines and identifies inappropriate touches and safety rules to follow.
The nationally recognized Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) program brings male role models into the educational process. The National Center for Fathering has adopted the Watch D.O.G.S. program in an effort to reconnect dads with kids and kids with dads. Watch D.O.G.S. volunteers spend the entire day in the building, working one-on-one or in small groups, reading, listening, and helping teachers with students that need more guided direction. Watch D.O.G.S. provides an unobtrusive fathering presence and a way to provide positive and active role-models for students at the school. This is the third year for the Watch D.O.G.S. program at SES. Our kick-off event, Dinner with Dad, was held Tuesday, September 1, with approximately 250 in attendance. While enjoying pizza and some special time together, students and their dads viewed a short video describing the Watch D.O.G.S. program, and listened as three of our previous Watch D.O.G.S. volunteers described their experiences here in the building, and why they continue to volunteer each year. When Watch D.O.G.S. invest a day at school, they can better learn how to partner with the school to better meet the educational goals of students. Nine dads committed to specific calendar dates, and many more took information with them to return to school with their students.
Carol Kees is the Family Resource Center Coordinator at Stevenson Elementary School.