LAWTON, Oklahoma – Heading back to school can be a stressful time for students, especially with the added stress of the global pandemic. “Everyone is eager to return to a sense of normalcy and desparate to fit in,” says Jennifer Gormley, CBPS Coordinator with the Wichita Mountains Prevention Network. “Because of this, students may be even more susceptible to peer pressure when it comes to experimenting with substances. Parents can help by staying informed on current drug and alcohol trends, and regularly speaking with their child about these issues and concerns.”
According to www.drugfree.org, teens say that their parents are the most important influence on their view of substances. Here are some tips on how to have a clear, productive, and meaningful discussion with your child about substances:
Clearly communicate that you do not want your teen using substances.
Talk short and long-term effects of drug and alcohol and the toll it takes on mental/physical health and hinders the ability to make good decisions.
Explain that experimenting with drugs and alcohol during adolescence is extremely risky and dangerous as their brain is still developing.
Look for blocks of one-on-one time where you can talk to them such as after dinner, to or from school, before bed, while watching TV together, etc.
Take a walk or drive together- teens may be more privy to listen when they don’t feel like they are under a microscope.
Listen to what they have to say too. In order to make the conversation more meaningful, it is important that your child feel comfortable to expressing
These tips and practices can give both you and your child a peace of mind, allow your child to learn the facts, and help your child say no peer pressure when it comes to substance use while also learning how to cope with stress in a more productive and safe way. Wichita Mountains Prevention Network wishes everyone a safe, healthy, and happy school year. Wichita Mountains Prevention Network (WMPN) is a nonprofit dedicated to creating safe communities through promoting proven substance abuse prevention strategies among teens and adults. WMPN is grant funded by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. For more information on how you can protect your teens, please contact RPC Prevention Specialist Jennifer Gormley at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow WMPN on Facebook.
The people of Oklahoma Oil & Natural Gas are sponsoring four energy education workshops this fall that provide teachers with up to $1,100 in classroom supplies.
The free workshops coordinated by the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board (OERB) offer training in nine different energy curricula for K-12. Each curriculum includes hands-on lessons aligned to Oklahoma academic standards and provide real-world applications to concepts that are already being taught in the classroom. Teachers who complete the training receive a free kit of materials and equipment, a teacher’s guide and a stipend for attending.
The kit materials, which range from graphing calculators and graduated cylinders to pencils and rulers, provide a much-needed boost in classroom resources. Planned for Enid, McAlester, Blanchard and Bartlesville, the workshop locations are designed to give teachers across the state access to this opportunity.
“We hear so often that the materials provided in our kits significantly increase the equipment in many science and math classrooms,” said OERB Executive Director Mindy Stitt. “From calculators to hot plates, these valuable resources can be used year-round.”
Educators are also eligible for a free field trip to one of 13 museums across the state for every year they teach the curricula in their classrooms.For more information or to register, visit OERBHomeRoom.com.
The OERB is funded by the over 2,500 producers and thousands of royalty owners across Oklahoma through a voluntary one-tenth of 1 percent assessment on oil and natural gas production. Since 1993, the agency’s purpose is to conduct environmental restoration of abandoned well sites and to provide energy education in Oklahoma.
I recently changed my place of employment. I now work for the Town of Ryan and do whatever is needed. Interestingly my primary responsibility so far has been supervising a gaggle of teenagers that came seeking summer employment. A lot of people are finding humor in the idea of my being in charge of, being patient with and teaching ten teenagers. Yes, you read that right, ten young people looking at me like I know what I am doing. It has been an interesting experience to say the least. The first lesson that I imparted was that they needed to speak louder and not so fast. As I age, my hearing has suffered from years of being around a lot of noise. After me repeatedly having to say what, they have gotten into the habit of speaking louder. If your child is one of my crew and they have started talking louder at home, I am to blame. An important series of lessons that I have tried to teach have been about safety at work. Wear your safety glasses, hearing protection when operating power tools, don’t stand there , don’t put your hand there and in one instance, go home and change your shoes, sandals are not acceptable at work. Having never raised children myself, it has also been a learning experience for me. The first advice that I received was, treat them like they are human. Okay I can handle that, I think. I also had to learn to let go and let them make mistakes on their own. The best way to learn a job is by doing. I had to remember myself as a kid and being allowed to try and fail and learn from the failure. I owed it to these young people to let them try and at times fail and hopefully to learn. No one comes into this world knowing anything useful but whenever I let one of them operate power equipment or climb behind the wheel of a vehicle, I am still as nervous as that proverbial long tailed cat. I don’t know how parents manage. I don’t want to leave you with the idea that it has been a negative experience because it hasn’t been in the least. It has at times for me been highly entertaining to see just how goofy a cluster of teenage boys can be and no, I was no better at that age, I was just as goofy. I hope that the summer employees have learned something useful and the importance of public service. To all of the young people, thank you for your efforts.
A hail storm that blew through Terral in the spring of 2017 left significant damage to the roof, playing surface floor and the lighting of the 80 year old WPA era school gymnasium. After the contractors that repaired the roof and lighting completed their task and all that was left was the refinish of the gym floor new Superintendent Donna Anderson walked through the historic old building and decided the interior looked tired and needed some tender loving care. Over the next eight months plans were put into place to give the building a fresh new look without changing the architectural history of the building.
The project included renovation of the entry foyer-concession area with new doors, windows, and flooring. The floor plan of the concession area was also changed to allow for more room for staff working behind the counter and improve traffic flow in the small area. Restroom facilities were updated with new toilets, and electric hand dryers to replace the old paper towel dispensers. Other plans were to change the graphics on the gym floor playing surface, install new scoreboards, new wall pads and new backboard padding.
The final project was a revamp of the team dressing rooms which was completed with the assistance of the 6th, 7th and 8th grade Art classes and the teacher Rayma Powers. The team room renovation saw new paint in Terral school colors of red and white painted by the Art students complete with stenciled in school logo and a wall of honor featuring the students that worked on the project. The update to the team rooms and weight training room included new carpet and reorganization of the weight room equipment. Hannah Spence and eight grader that worked on the ream room renovation stated “it was a lot of work, but if you put your nose to the grindstone you can accomplish anything, everyone that helped was in there working hard.”
Transportation and Maintenance Director Bret Foster who over saw the project spent time trying to chase down the history of the building but found very limited information. He believes based on the limited data the gym was a WPA project completed around 1940. His message to the community is “we have an old gym that represents part of the history of the United States at a time when the country was struggling. I want to have a gym that our community and students can be proud of and maintain the historic identity”
Superintendent Donna Anderson whose leadership was instrumental in this undertaking stated “we are so proud of the work going on to improve all areas of education at Terral. With the gym remodel we are able to update the entire building while keeping a balance of new construction and hometown memories. It is an exciting time at Terral Public School and we invite everyone to come out and view the facilities as we head into another great year”
The leadership team at Terral believes the community will notice and appreciate the changes to improve the building. Former Terral student Dustin Bryant who saw the building inside for the first time in many years commented “it really looks different, new and fresh I think the team has done a great job with the renovation.”
The ribbon cutting ceremony complete with an open house will be held Thursday July 29th at 6:00PM. Hotdogs and drinks will be available for purchase. Students new to Terral are encouraged to come by see the school and meet the staff. The district encourages everyone to attend. For more information contact the school office at 580-437-2244.
The City of Waurika recognizes the value of setting goals and developing priorities to reach our objectives. Waurika Code Enforcement plans to employ an aggressive and diversified code enforcement operation that brings clarity and unification to the community while emphasizing a consistent and systematic approach to enforcement to effectively remedy violations.
Code Enforcement Vision
A community where all residential and commercial properties are maintained in a fashion that emphasizes an aesthetically pleasing City, that encourages community pride, preserves neighborhood integrity, protects the public health and well-being, and maintains property values within the community.
Code Enforcement Mission
To conduct a comprehensive code enforcement effort that fosters voluntary compliance, effects prompt correction of noted violations, and that is consistent, fair and equitable in its application.
As mentioned above, the focal point of this year’s event will be celebrating Sorosis Park on the North end of Main Street. There will also be many things to come see, shop, and take part in all up and down Main Street.
Last Thursday evening the Waurika Sorosis Club hosted Let’s Talk Waurika. Rain and cold weather moved the meeting inside the Fellowship Hall of the Methodist Church, but did not dampen the enthusiasm for the presenters and the public forum after where attendees shared their visions for Parks and Recreation for Waurika. “It was a great start to a much bigger conversation,” Sharon Duncan, project chairman stated. “Waurika has a beautiful landscape to work with and we are thrilled that so many came out and provided excellent ideas for the project.” This is the fourth year that the Sorosis Club has sponsored the Let’s Talk Waurika event.
Cody Simmons, Waurika Public Schools Superintendent, was the first presenter and gave an excellent update on how the most recent bond issue had significantly helped the elementary, middle and high school campuses, the athletic fields, and provided technology upgrades that benefit all students. He also provided an update on the on-going virtual learning plans for the school and also thanked the community for its continuous investment in our children.
Next up on the program was Richard Gillespie, President of Jefferson County Hospital. Mr. Gillespie spoke about the improvements taking place at the hospital through the investment of Duncan Regional Hospital in our facility. One of the main improvements is the air handling capabilities and air conditioning systems being added at this time. These improvements allow patient rooms to have updated airflow that do not recycle the same air and replace the current hotel style units. This is a significant upgrade and will improve the overall patient care. There will also be a new backup generator installed. This upgrade will provide electrical power to the whole building. He also talked about the new rotation for Doctors from Duncan Regional Hospital who are now providing patient care for those patients in the skilled care wing of the hospital. Gillespie said that one cent sales tax bond should be retired a little ahead of schedule. The $2,100,000 loan started in February of 2017 for seven years. The balance is now $843,000. In closing, Mr. Gillespie thanked the Team at JCH for their dedication to providing exceptional quality care. He also thanked the community for their strong support of the hospital.
City Manager, Kyote Dunn, was next up on the program and he talked about how he was now almost three months into the job and was still learning, but is already working on a CDBG Grant to provide a major improvement and repair on Waurika’s Sewer System as well as several additional grants for various projects that he would like to pursue. The CDBG Grant will allow the City to perform much needed maintenance and repair on the City’s sewer system and will save the City almost $300,000.
Dunn also mentioned that he is pleased with the current path that Waurika is on and will work diligently with the community and various groups to continue pushing Waurika forward.
Jefferson County Commissioner for District One, Bryce Bohot, was next on the program. He talked about the retirement of the Hospital Bond coming up in a couple of years and how our community needed to begin considering keeping that one cent sales tax to support Jefferson County. He mentioned that we do not want to be consolidated with another county and lose the local presence of our government offices and that having the funds from the 1 cent sales tax go to the county, might help us avoid that happening.
At the conclusion of the four speakers, Brad Scott, former City Manager and community leader, lead a community forum on the vision for Waurika’s Parks and Recreation opportunities and what the group felt was the best use for our open spaces. When the 50 plus attendees entered the meeting, they were asked to go to 7 stations where easels had questions about parks and recreational needs. The questions asked and the responses are listed below. Scott discussed the responses on the boards and talked about additional plans and ideas that were still in the concept stages. When Scott was city manager, he started working with a small group of citizens to work on clean up projects and to come up with a three, five and longer-term plan for parks and recreation for the city. This group has worked with Craig Williams from Williams Landscape in Lawton to assist his efforts with main street beautification, Sorosis Park updates and to maintain the flowers and flower beds at Veterans Park. With the Sorosis Park project coming to conclusion soon, the group wanted to bring in more thoughts on what the community felt were the biggest needs to enhance Waurika as the best place to live, work and play.
Question One: “What is your favorite type of outdoor Recreation and fun?”. Responses: Green Space for open play for kids and families; walking, basketball, picnic areas, swimming/water play; walking, bicycling; hunting and fishing; and planting flowers.
Question Two: “Does Waurika need a Splash Pad and Where should it be located?” We had 10 yes responses from the group and about 10 more from people who couldn’t attend, but asked to be included. Responses to location were varied and equally divided between Harmon Park (close to the former golf course/clubhouse) and Centennial Park. One concept presented was a splash pad in conjunction with a Water Park like Boomtown Bay. We had one no because of water treatment issues.
Question Three: “Would you use a Walking/Fitness Trail through Harmon Park?” Nine participants voted yes to this with one clarification about clearing the poison ivy first.
Question Four: “Would you enjoy a Par 3 golf course at Harmon Park?” We had seven participants respond yes to this question with no negative votes.
Question Five: “Do we need more playground equipment at Centennial (former Jaycee) Park?” Responses were all yes. Suggestions for equipment were: Volleyball, tetherball, small basketball area, sandbox, tricycle path, large artboard, new swings and a soccer goal. Also mentioned was to update the current metal equipment with new paint and to add a few items for younger children.
Question Six: “What is your vision for using the clubhouse at the former golf course?” Several mentions were made for a restaurant with a bar and grill, patio space, outdoor music venue, and a family gathering spot.
Question Seven: “When was your last visit to Harmon Park and what did you do?” Responses: Two years ago, took family pictures; five years ago, pictures; often for disc golf; 2 years ago, cleaning up brush; 1 month ago, to let kids and dogs run around; and pictures.
Scott wrapped up the meeting by making sure that people were aware that work continues on all the spaces and that the pavilion at Harmon Park was one example of work completed. He also invited everyone to a community event and fundraiser on May 15 at 5:30 p.m. at Sorosis Park at D and Main. Proceeds from this event will support continued beautification efforts.
DUNCAN, Okla. — The Chisholm Trail Heritage Center is seeking volunteers to celebrate the history, art, and culture of the Chisholm Trail, the American cowboy, and the American West. A wide variety of opportunities exist for volunteers, from sharing knowledge with visitors, helping with events, and non-public roles such as keeping our collections organized and safe, and updating our website. Other needs include woodworking, design, maintenance, and light groundskeeping. “Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and serve your community,” said Scott Metelko, CTHC executive director. “It is good for your mind and body and will keep you connected with others.” A volunteer training and luncheon will be held Saturday, May 1, 2021, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center. The center is located at 1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway, Duncan, OK. Volunteer benefits include complimentary admission to the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center and a 15% discount in the gift shop. Volunteering is easy and flexible, whether it’s just for a few hours a week or a few days a week. Volunteers are not required to have previous training, and anyone can volunteer. You will meet people of all ages from across the U.S. and around the world and help them make the memories of a lifetime. Volunteers inspire visitors to explore the cowboy way of life. Heritage Center staff members are looking forward to working alongside volunteers to create a memorable experience for guests For more information on volunteer opportunities, call 580-252-6692, email tina@onthechisholmtrail, or visit www.onthechisholmtrail.com
Tulsa, Okla. ‹ Nominations are open now through May 21 for the 2021 Champions of Health awards. Since 2004, the Champions of Health awards program has honored those working to positively change the health status of Oklahomans through unique and innovative programs. From the front-line workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic to the nonprofit organizations keeping food on the table for those experiencing job loss, it’s as important as ever to recognize those making a difference. There is no cost to submit a nomination.
Winners will be honored on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. Nonprofit winners will receive a $5,000 contribution toward their organization or program. Winners from each award category will be considered for the highest honor, the Dr. Rodney L. Huey Memorial Champion of Oklahoma Health, which includes a $15,000 contribution to the organization or program. Award categories include:
€ Champion of Children’s Health € Champion of Senior Health € Champion of the Uninsured € Community Health Champion € Corporate Health Champion
Additional details and nomination requirements can be found at championsofhealth.org. The website also provides information about previous winners, event sponsorship opportunities and further program details.
About Champions of Health The annual Champions of Health event benefits The Oklahoma Caring Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization that provides Oklahoma children with immunizations at no charge. Founded in 1994, the foundation is funded by community contributions and administered as an in-kind gift by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
The Champions of Health awards program is presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, in partnership with Care Providers Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians, the Oklahoma Dental Association, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the Oklahoma Hospital Association, the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association, the Oklahoma Primary Care Association, the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Oklahoma State Medical Association.