by Kristi Potts on 06/04/18
Last year, in a Questers-Calendar Girls group meeting at the Wilson Performing Arts Center Diane Brower mentioned some of her personal goals for the community such as to have different groups in Red Oak working together for positive growth. Kattie Lewis, the Center Coordinator at SWCC said she had just the program, the Walking School Bus, which involved Montgomery County Memorial Hospital, the Iowa Extension Office, Montgomery County Family YMCA, and the Red Oak Public Library. The program is coordinated and organized by Live Well Montgomery County in partnership with SWCC, ISU Extension and Outreach, and Questers-Calendar Girls 1254 with the goal to educate and encourage youth to move.
Last year, the Walking School Buses and Afterschool Programs kicked-off on Wednesday, April 5th for the second year in a row for students in Villisca and Stanton to walk to school for six weeks promoting physical activity, safety and a healthy lifestyle. In Red Oak, the Walking School Bus program was an afterschool program available to youth enrolled in 4th – 8th grades and started at both Washington Intermediate School and the Red Oak Middle School.
Red Oak students were walked to an afterschool program of their choice for the duration of the program on Wednesday early-outs from April 5th through May 10th. The afterschool programs included Literacy at the Red Oak Library (hosted by Red Oak Library and Questers-Calendar Girls 1254) and Wellness at the YMCA (hosted by MCMH and the YMCA).
Youth were walked to an afterschool program of their choice for the duration of the program on Wednesday early-outs from April 5th through May 10th. Three afterschool programs included Literacy at the Red Oak Library (hosted by Red Oak Library and Questers-Calendar Girls 1254), Wellness at the YMCA (hosted by MCMH and the YMCA) and Career Exploration at the Gold Fair Building (hosted by SWCC and ISU Extension and Outreach).
This year the program got a new name “STAR”– Students Taking an Active Role” with the Altrusa joining in to help. The programs have included learning about cooking from MCMH Staff at the Y, having kayak races in the Y pool, participating in an outdoor scavenger hunt, and having theme days at the library led by librarian Kathi Most. They celebrated with a pizza party at the end of the program.
The new kayaks received last year through donations were utilized the most at the Montgomery County Family YMCA with the special safety rules explained to the kids.
Diane’s grandson, Jacob, was encouraged last year to join her and enjoyed it so much he’s back this year. As Diane commented about the program, “STAR is allowing students to learn healthy life and eating styles, to grow physically and mentally, and learn more about their community and appreciating the world around them.”
The leadership committee of Live Well Montgomery County includes Ashley Peterson (chairperson), Doug Rieken, Mike Webb, Larry Brandstetter, Sue Drake, John Blomstedt, Justin Miller, Kattie Lewis, Monica Blay, Beau Boeye and Grant Focht. Jamie Werges of MCMH serves as an advisory member. Live Well Montgomery County continually strives for excellence in promoting health and wellness for all!
A strong partnership between volunteers and staff is at the heart of YMCAs, where volunteer development is everyone’s job and where meaningful volunteer opportunities and operational strategies are in place to support program volunteers.
For more information about the about the Montgomery County Family YMCA and its programs, memberships, and volunteer/donor opportunities, call us at 712-623-2161, stop by the Y located at 101 East Cherry Street, Red Oak, Iowa, visit us on Facebook, or our website at www.mcymca.com