Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Annual Halloween candy drive to benefit Operation Gratitude set for next week!

The wellness department would like to announce our 5th annual Operation Gratitude Halloween Candy Drive from Monday November 3, 2014 through Thursday November 6, 2014. A member of the wellness staff will be in the front lobby from 7-7:30 am to collect candy. According to their website:
Operation Gratitude annually sends 150,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, plus personal letters of appreciation, to New Recruits, Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas.
All the candy will be dropped off at Wayland Dental located at 131 Main St.  According to Dr. Michael Putt, army veteran and owner of Wayland Dental, receiving care packages while deployed provides a connection to home and can help lift the the soldier's spirits. Dr. Putt is able to participate in Operation Gratitude due to the generosity of Mark Silverman, president of  Mark's Moving & Storage. Mark and his employees will take all the donated candy and ship it to Van Nuys, CA where it will be used to assemble care packages for our troops.
Coach A collecting candy last year.

Candy is just one of the ways we can help. Operation Gratitude welcomes donations of individually wrapped toothbrushes, floss, and toothpaste. If you would rather make a financial donation you can click here to do so.

Click here to read about last year's collection in the Wayland Patch!

Thank you for your support.

Be Safe, Be Healthy, Be Happy,

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Wellness Center Make-Over: Thank you Wayland Public Schools Foundation!

I remember the day I realized that the fitness curriculum needed to be revamped. It was about 4 years ago and I was teaching the advanced fitness unit with heart rate monitor class. I asked my students to show me how to do a body weight squat. Only a few could do one properly. I was surprised; I realized I needed to teach a “back to basics” class  ASAP.  There was no way I was going to be able to teach more advanced exercises when the majority of my class did not have a sold movement foundation.  
Two years ago, I sat in the 8th grade open area during one of our monthly faculty meetings. Representatives from the Wayland Public Schools Foundation (WPSF) were in attendance wearing their purple shirts to talk up grant writing. They started off their presentation with the question “what if you had a blank check?” Hearing that one sentence sent my mind spinning. I got so excited thinking about all the functional equipment I could buy for the wellness center that you would have thought it was my birthday. Right then and there I decided that I was going to apply for my first grant. I wanted money to give our existing wellness center a make-over. We needed new equipment desperately so we could expand our fitness curriculum.

When I found out that the WPSF accepted my grant and awarded the wellness department funds to purchase new equipment, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to tell my students how we would be getting all new equipment. Before the grant (in AM Wellness) there would be approximately 40-45 students in the gym playing soccer and basketball, and approximately 5-10 students in the wellness center climbing the rock wall or using equipment. Receiving the grant from the WPSF meant that I was able to purchase new functional equipment, such as jump ropes, kettle bells, & medicine balls, but I was able to purchase a combination monkey bar & pull-up rig. The rig has since become the most popular piece of equipment in the wellness center. Since its installation at the end of April 2014, we have seen a dramatic increase in student usage. Instead of the typical 5-10 boys using the wellness center, we now see an average of 45 boys and girls combined! We have noticed a slight decrease in the amount of students using the gym in the morning. Instead of 45-50 kids we see about 35-40. But overall the increase in AM Wellness usage has increased by approximately 30 total students or a 65% increase when compared to pre-grant statistics.

Thank you to the WPSF for giving the wellness department the funds to take our curriculum to a new level. Thank you to all who have donated to WPSF in the past. Your donation directly affects our ability as teachers to add innovative ideas to our curriculum that would otherwise not be possible.
If you would like to make a donation to the WPSF Hats off (Honor and Appreciate Teachers & Staff) program please click here. 

AM Wellness runs daily from 7-7:30 am.

Here are some BEFORE pictures of the Wellness Center:

Here is the AFTER picture:
A panoramic view of the updated wellness center.
Isn't it amazing?!

  Be Safe, Be Healthy, Be Happy,