It’s been another great year for kayaking in Mount Morris — with increased participation. We say the more the merrier for these family-friendly trips. There are no fees to participate in the group and you don’t need to attend every trip. This group is all about having some fun in the sun while doing something we love: like-minded people enjoying nature and all the benefits that it brings. Having or borrowing your own equipment and safety gear is the only necessity.
On Facebook, the “Kayak Meetup Group” provides updates on scheduled events, and a week before each trip, email reminders are sent to those who have signed up to be part of the email group. You can join this list by emailing SWilliams@MtMorrisCSD.org. Meet-up time is 9 a.m., and we are typically in the water by 9:15 a.m. Some people paddle for about an hour and head back while others continue to paddle for another hour or longer, depending on the weather. How long someone stays on the water is always up to him or her. Trips this year have averaged at about two hours.
Trips are scheduled for the first Saturday of each month, with the exception of holidays. Rain dates are the third Saturday s of each month. This season we’ve been to Canadice Lake, Irondequoit Creek and Hemlock Lake. All of our trips have included views of beautiful scenery and glimpses of animals in their natural habitat. During our most recent trip to Hemlock Lake, we encountered soaring bald eagles, huge fish splashing on the water and giant herons. We’re really looking forward to our upcoming trips.
Kindness and a positive attitude play a special hand in the atmosphere of Sodus Central School District. Take, for example, the Random Acts of Kindness wall that's available to staff and students in the building's main hallway. In each envelope on the wall are small sheets of paper with a random act of kindness they can complete in different locations — the bus, hallway, classroom, recess. Secretary Amber Kirkey changes the quote/picture every morning before students come in. Each quote is also available in a smaller form for staff, students and community members in the event that they need a little uplifting. The quote is also featured on the morning announcements and staff uses it in conversation with students that might not be making the best choices or having a great day.
Staff have truly enjoyed Thankful Thursday cards. Special thanks go to to Amber Kirkey, Sheila Fisher and Chris Watson for making this possible by putting new cards in the mailboxes every week for the entire school year. Staff members enjoy thinking positive thoughts about someone specific on a Thursday and appreciate seeing different perspectives of themselves through others' eyes. They frequently comment, “Sometimes it’s so hard to get through the week but this gives you a boost to get through the next two days.” The positive energy of this has made its way to the junior and senior high school staff, who requested that their main office start this, as well.
We are all aware of the impact that a lack of mental health help and knowledge has on our communities. We think that if we make staff members feel better throughout the week, it could have a positive effect on the district. We also recognize that some days are harder than others, and a small push to get through is necessary.
Another positive addition is the “Healthy Selfies” Google forum where staff members can post their photos. This will go along with some basic Wellness Challenges for four weeks. None of the challenges will be costly or include the words “diet” or “exercise,” but they will result in some fun times and great prizes.
Week 1: Drink 8 glasses water per day
Week 2: Sleep at least 7 hours per night
Week 3: Eat 6 servings fruits and vegetables per day
Week 4: Walk one extra mile per day
To monitor everyone’s participation, staff members must take a "healthy selfie" and send it in. Some of these will make it to the health office bulletin board for all to see.
Each week, we will randomly draw for small prizes, and then award Nutribullet as the grand prize when the challenge is over.
Wellness Is Now
The FLASHP Wellness is Now (WIN) group met June 7 at FLCC Victor for a day of professional development and planning. Eighty people from the 36 FLASHP school districts attended to visit with vendors, attend workshops, collaborate with peers and plan activities for the 2017-18 school year. The following people presented Wellness topics: Dineen Snyder and Micki Newfang (Wayland-Cohocton), Heather Bonetti and Chelsea Jay (Waterloo), Laura Rundell (Clyde-Savannah), Jen Hutches (Dundee), Sarah Williams (Mt. Morris) and Doug Schmidt (Victor). The meeting was sponsored by G&G Fitness, Wegmans and Proforma.
Monthly Staff Spotlight
The Bloomfield Central School Wellness Committee sends out a monthly wellness newsletter filled with upcoming school wellness events and activities, ideas, tips for staying healthy, recipes and a staff spotlight. There are so many healthy, active employees in the district, so each month one staff member is highlighted. This staff member is usually nominated by a colleague or the wellness coordinator. Then, that staff member writes an article about how he or she is physically, nutritionally, emotionally or spiritually healthy. This is Bloomfield’s second year highlighting one staff member each month.
The husband and wife team of Travis and Rebecca Geary, who both teach in Bloomfield, were chosen one month this year. Check out their story below.
A healthy competition
For those of you that don’t know me, I am extremely competitive. It may come as a shock to some, however, that Travis is also competitive.
Having four young children makes putting exercise first rather difficult, but because we are both competitive we find ourselves always exercising even if it is just running up and down the stairs at home 100 times (true story). One awesome part about being married to someone who is also into fitness is that we recognize each other’s right to have personal time to work out.
Like most of you, we exercise to keep up with our kids. Our two older boys are very active and our twins are impossible to keep up with some days, so daily exercise provides the boost that keeps us alert until 8 p.m., when they are all in bed.
We exercise to make it through the winter season; instead of hiding indoors, we embrace skiing with our kids as much as possible and both of us love to run in challenging weather. We exercise to reach personal fitness goals like running a marathon in every state or getting the most steps in on a given day.
Finally, we exercise so we can eat junk food. Maybe that’s more me than Travis, but we both enjoy the flexibility with our diets that running provides. I know if I do a five mile run today after school then I can eat those pieces of chocolate found in the office secret stash.
Bowling Over Stress
June is a stressful month for all school employees. The Bloomfield Wellness Committee decided to hold a social wellness event to help relieve stress. On June 15 after school, 18 Bloomfield employees bowled in the VIP lounge at Roseland Bowl in Canandaigua. The FLASHP Wellness Fund paid for the lanes while each participant paid $5 for food and beverages. They had a blast while bowling off their stress. Bloomfield Central is split between two schools, so it was nice to mingle with colleagues from both buildings.
Sowing the Seeds
Twenty Red Creek employees in June attended an herb garden planting party organized by the district’s wellness committee. Nathali and Vanessa Neal, sisters who own and run Nathali's Nursery and Farm Market, helped put together the program, during which Nathali spoke about the medicinal and culinary benefits of 16 featured herbs, and Vanessa passed out snacks she prepared using the herbs. Snacks included strawberry lemonade with mint, salsa, biscuits and dill dip. Each participant received a bowl in which they were to plant an herb garden. They were then each given six "credits" apiece and chose any six of the herbs.
Top o’ the Rock
Three female staff members — ages 60, 50-ish female and 20-something — and eight students attended a wall-climbing session held in June. One staff member reached the top of one of two routes, and the three women expressed they were grateful for the opportunity and asked if the district could form a climbing club that meets regularly. They also enjoyed having the students belay for and coach them.
Adding to Fitness
Plus 5 Fitness is a simple, easy-to-use classroom exercise system developed for elementary students by education professionals with over 100 years of combined experience. The newly animated multimedia content allows both students and teachers to quickly gain proficiency in the exercises. Progressive lessons along with energetic, motivational soundtracks keep students engaged and challenged.
Wellness Coordinator Corner
FLASHP Wellness Coordinators are responsible for planning and coordinating wellness programs for their districts and supporting the district’s employees in their wellness efforts. They attend quarterly FLASHP Wellness Is Now Committee meetings in September, December, March and June and facilitate at least two meetings, one each semester, with the Smola Consulting Wellness Consultant.
Wellness Champions meet regularly to create and carry out their Wellness Action Plan, which includes maintaining an ongoing Wellness Communication plan with employees, including Community Health magazine, to promote employee wellness. The team also creates strategies to promote wellness programs and opportunities to all employees, including promoting Quit for Life, Healthy Rewards, dental cleanings and preventive health practices.
District Wellness Coordinators
Avon - Maura Kostraba
Bloomfield - Michelle Baker
Caledonia-Mumford - Sarah Santora & Janet Cappotelli
Canandaigua City - Bill Bowe
Clyde-Savannah - Laura Rundell
Dansville - Margaret Mistretta
Dundee - Jen Hutches
Finger Lakes Community College - Patti Zimmer & Maureen Owens
Gananda - Stacia Kanellopoulos
Geneseo - Craig Veley
Geneva - Christy Van Camp
Honeoye - Jen Green
Keshequa - Todd Isaman
Livonia - Robbin Carll
Lyons - Robin Cinelli, Jill Harper & Rita Wlodarczyk
Manchester-Shortsville - Tammy LaBarr
Marcus Whitman - Jill MacKerchar
Marion Central - Daniel Driffill
Midlakes - Brittany Nye & Kyle Sanders
Mount Morris - Sarah Williams
Naples - Kelly Vandesande
Newark - Robyn Monahan & Inger Rothpearl
North Rose-Wolcott - Jolene Caselli
Palmyra-Macedon - Stacia Santelli & Debbie Matzan
Penn Yan - Jon MacKerchar & Becki Bailey
Red Creek - Kristy Smith
Romulus - Chris Puylara & Heather Higby
Seneca Falls - Diane Neal
Sodus - Mike Magin
Victor - Douglas Schmidt
Waterloo - Heather Bonetti & Chelsea Jay
Wayland-Cohocton - Dineen Snyder
Wayne Central - Monica Bays
Wayne Finger Lakes BOCES - Shannon Marshall
Williamson - Lorie Abbott & Brenda Gowan
York - Val Kingsley & Alison Guesno