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Wasco County gets Healthy and Fit!
By Andrea Pena
 
The Wasco County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) received $7,000 in funding from the non-competitive Capacity Building Award that will be directed toward community outreach and engagement. The funding will go toward the purchase of equipment and training items to support the “Healthy and Fit The Dalles Middle School (TDMS)” program.
 
What is “Healthy and Fit TDMS?”
 
Wasco County MRC volunteers will deliver an after-school program providing physical activity and health education opportunities to students in partnership North Central Public Health District, North Wasco County School District 21, and The Dalles Middle School (TDMS). The “Healthy and Fit TDMS” project is modeled on First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign – an initiative dedicated to solving the problem of obesity.
 
District 21 has committed an after-school coordinator, healthy dinner program, facilities, and an activity bus to support this highly-needed project at no cost. The North Central Public Health District will provide public health nurses to train MRC volunteers on health education basics to apply during educational sessions with students.
 
“Healthy and Fit TDMS” will serve as a pilot for future outreach in other Wasco County schools, and it will feature the following classes, activities, and information:
  • Dance-infused classes     
  • Indoor/outdoor sports and games
  • Circuit training
  • Walks and hikes
  • Lessons on food as fuel, proper hydration, and nutrition
  • A weekly flyer for parents about classes, schedule and educational content in both English and Spanish
  • A “Healthy and Fit TDMS” page on the North Central Public Health District website
  • A “Healthy and Fit TDMS” Facebook page
  • Monthly educational classes for kids and parents with speakers covering topics such as physical fitness, healthy living, safety, and emergency readiness.
 
The project will enhance the existing MRC training program by offering an opportunity to activate MRC members for missions following standard operating protocols. Call-down drills activating MRC volunteers to attend after-school sessions will test Wasco County MRC’s emergency notification and communications procedures, and the MRC Coordinator will perform these mock activation exercises using the SERV-OR alert System.
 
As during a real emergency response, on-site just-in-time training will be used when MRC volunteers are “deployed” to the middle school for sessions with students. They will receive on-site just-in-time training to include specific instructions on how to perform their expected duties, a job action sheet, instructions for “demobilization,” and volunteer hours reporting, among other information.
 
For more information, contact Andrea Pena, Wasco County MRC Coordinator/VISTA at andreap@co.wasco.or.us or (541) 506-2602.