Schools host evenings of ‘healthy starts’

Shane Jones of the U.S. Forest Service talks to students about fire safety during the Healthy Starts program at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School last week. S. Stewart photo
Shane Jones of the U.S. Forest Service talks to students about fire safety during the Healthy Starts program at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School last week. S. Stewart photo

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

Kicking the school year off right is important for students to have success in their classes. Last week, Marlinton Elementary and Green Bank Elementary-Middle schools hosted their first parent involvement event for the year with Healthy Starts.

GBEMS parent coordinator Lucy Rittenhouse worked with the parent involvement committee and MES parent coordinator Mary Dawson to create a fun and educational activity for the students and parents.

“We have several guest presenters tonight that are going to be speaking on a variety of health issues,” Rittenhouse said at GBEMS’ event. “We have Rachel Taylor – a PA from Community Care, and Cheryl Jonese from the Pocahontas County Prevention Coalition, who is going to discuss drug prevention. Lisa Dennison is discussing child nutrition. Karen O’Neil is explaining the plans that are being made for the new Green Bank Wellness Center and Dr. Josh and Dr. Laura Abbot, our Community Care dentists, are going to share, as well.”

While parents gathered in the library for the presentations, the students met in the gymnasium where Smokey Bear and Shane Jones of the forest service gave a presentation on fire prevention. After meeting Smokey Bear, half the students went on a nature walk led by science teacher Anne Smith and the other half played Castle Ball with physical education teacher Tom Boothe.

The event also included a meal and information booth sponsored by Pocahontas Memorial Hospital.

“We’re serving a healthy supper tonight and we’re thankful to the IGA for helping provide that,” Rittenhouse said. “We also have the BFD [Bartow-Frank-Durbin] fire and rescue department here with the ambulance and the fire truck. We’re really looking forward to a good evening.”

The event is the first of many parent involvement programs for the 2015-2016 school year.

“Our next one will be in October and has to do with Literacy Month,” Rittenhouse said. “We’re going to be looking at our new reading series and have Christina Smith come share about that, as well as Ruth Bland discussing some of our new computer technology that’s being integrated.”

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