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Positive Podcast aims for community connection

From the front lines to those at home; whether you are remote working, virtual learning, or home schooling here in West Virginia, across the country, or around the world, there is a new Positive Podcast available from the Morgan County Partnership with an important objective: community connection. Connecting communities with Positive Actions, Positive Podcast is hosted by Angie Hott and Sheima Benzidour, Positive Action & Digital Media Facilitators for the Morgan County Partnership.

The Partnership is a "coalition made up of local citizens united in a shared vision of building a supportive network for our young people, their families and others connected to create a safe, healthy, and drug-free community. The Partnership includes all sectors of the community, such as area nonprofits, government groups, agencies, volunteer organizations, school district, churches, businesses, parents, and youth. Seeking community connection and following six years of presenting character education in the classroom, Ms. Hott and Ms. Sheima bring a weekly feature convenient in a new podcast format, adding to the school year's daily instruction on the "Daily PAWsitive Action Community Vlogcast". Weekly Positive Podcast will feature wellness tips, Positive Action core value words, stories of community kindness, local and community news, and resources for addiction and abuse. Hosts will share parenting stories from potty training, home schooling, pandemic parenting, and more! Whether you live in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle or Mars, Ms. Hott and Ms. Sheima's Positive Podcast is available to connect the community in this new thing called life because we are all #AloneTogether! Positive Podcast's seeks to provide encouragement for children and families who are struggling as well as celebrate daily accomplishments.

During the current health crisis, the Positive Podcast will include evidence based advice from the Child Mind Institute to help communities recognize need and locate qualified resources. The Child Mind Institute also provides daily coping tips with doctors who are "dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health." They provide the "highest standards of care, advance the science of the developing brain and empower parents, professionals and policy makers to support children when and where they need it most." Grab your device and hit play! While folding laundry, cleaning house, or driving the car, the Positive Podcast will engage you, encourage your day to day tasks, and connect you with family and community.

Upcoming programming includes original music from community musicians, tips from Morgan County Social Workers, new activities happening locally, and wellness suggestion working around the world. On Friday, May 15, 2020, a sound bite from the Capitol with Senator Shelley Moore Capito was featured. Senator Capito was recognizing student's Positive Actions with Ms. Christie Butts, 4th grade teacher at Warm Springs Intermediate School in Morgan County who spear headed the "Adopt A Senior" Citizen Letter Writing activity with Summer Goller, MC After 3 Director.

To include your community story, music, or news on the Morgan County Partnership's weekly Positive Podcast, contact Angie Hott at [email protected]. Weekly Positive Podcasts are posted on the free mobile APP available from Apple Store and GooglePlay.

Positive Podcast For Morgan County WV By The Morgan County Partnership With Ms Hott And Ms Sheima

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SUMMER S.T.E.A.M.! with the Morgan County Partnership (Berkeley Springs, WV)

All around the United States, communities and school districts are feeding thousands of students while schools remain closed; but in Morgan County, there is a little bit of S.T.E.A.M.! and a whole bag of fun added to the weekly delivery of free meals.

In Morgan County, WV, there are 2362 students. 875 students are receiving weekly free meals prepared in a partnership with the Morgan County Board of Education and Cacapon State Park in order to meet the needs of a hungry community. Each week meal delivery includes five healthy breakfasts and lunches, or a weekly total of 4,275 meals. The number of students participating in the program since schools have been closed include 280 for Widmyer Elementary; 275 for Warm Springs Intermediate and Warm Springs Middle Schools; 110 for Paw Paw Schools, and 110 for Pleasant View Elementary.

All seven schools in the Morgan County District are served at these pick up locations, to include Berkeley Springs High School. Summer Goller, Executive Director for the MC After 3 Program, has added a program that feeds not only their bellies, but also their brains! Summer S.T.E.A.M.! is an activity created and hosted by the Morgan County Partnership. According to Ms. Summer Goller, "STEAM supplies are a cooperative effort between MC After 3 and WVU Extension and feature simple kits students can use to perform science experiments, create art, and have fun with mathematics, technology and engineering. Kits are usually coordinated with the Monday segment of Summer STEAM, part of Positive Actions MoTo Mondays, featuring short how-to videos aimed at keeping kids curious."

Beginning in late April, Summer's STEAM kits included sidewalk stained glass, with chalk and tape, followed by mentos magic, with experiment supplies. Next, students will receive coffee filters to create parachutes and learn about aerodynamics. Carmen Winarski, STEM Ambassador for the Morgan County Extension hosts a "how-to" video. Next, students may expect a lesson on "The Science Behind Bubbles" for the week of May 18, followed by "Carmen's Paper Flowers" for the week of May 26. For, June 1, there will be "Paint Night w/Ms. Ruggierio." In all, Ms. Goller prepares about 400 Summer S.T.E.A.M.! kits each week, currently for students in third through eighth grades. She hosts a feature video along with students from previous MC After 3 events.

Additional supplies provided in free meal distribution may sometimes include free books for kindergarden through second grade at Widmyer Elementary. This is provided through Title One. Providing Summer S.T.E.A.M.! kits engages students in academic hands on learning, while having fun. The program is scheduled to continue as part of MC After 3 for each MoTo Monday throughout the 2020 summer calendar, with the exception of holidays and as long as meals are provided.

Positive Actions like Summer S.T.E.A.M kits raises students developmental assets, improves academics, and engages social and emotional wellness. Instructions on the science experiments may be found in an engaging "how-to" video provided each MoTo Monday on the Daily Pawsitive Actions Community Vlogcast at as well as the Morgan County Partnership's new, free, mobile APP (available on the Apple Store and GooglePlay). For more information, please email [email protected].

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Student Gallery - A Showcase of Morgan County Students

Student Gallery - A Showcase of Morgan County Students Join the Morgan County Partnership in celebrating the academic accomplishments of Morgan County Students as they continue studying during virtual and distance learning. The Positive Action program invited teachers to nominate their students to be showcased in a virtual gallery.

Available on the Positive Action YouTube channel, submissions were filmed or photographed and emailed to Angie Hott, Positive Action & Digital Facilitator. "I felt it was so important for the community to recognize and celebrate their achievement while working from home during this COVID19 pandemic, and beyond too! When students see their academic efforts are noticed, it helps to raise their valuable developmental assets today so that they become successful students tomorrow," Angie said. It is our hope to instill in children the continued importance of education so that they remain eager to learn and ultimately make positive decisions about their futures.

Featured in the Student Gallery in it's premier week is Kara Novak, 1st grade student from Ms. Stotler's class at Widmyer Elementary. Kara enthusiastically shares her knowledge, a positive action, about the Polar Bear. Her facts are relayed with a love of learning that will surely put a smile on anyone in the community during these difficult times. Also nominated and available on the Student Gallery YouTube Playlist, are Sofie Riggleman, from Pleasant View Elementary singing the school song; Isabella & Kimbra Welch, from Widmyer sharing animal projects on the African Elephant and Snowy Owl; Kamryn Buck from Warm Springs Intermediate School making language art from Positive Action Core Value Words; and Leah Boyce. Leah is a 1st grader from Ms. Christie's Pleasant View room, who recites the Pledge of Allegiance.

Thank you for sharing the students' stories! Coming soon, students will "Adopt a Senior" with Ms. Butts 4th graders, who are writing letters to residents at Autumn Acres.

Widmyer Elementary - Student Gallery Showcase of Positive Actions

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Cheryl Gregory sews masks for hospice workers

Cheryl Gregory sews masks for hospice workers. She is also sewing gowns for them as well. When protective equipment and other essential items were scarce, our community stepped up. Dentists, veterinarians and friends of HOTP donated masks, protective equipment, sanitizing wipes and more.

Hospice volunteers and community members sewed more than 1,000 cloth masks and are now making gowns. Churches and groups dropped off goody bags and food to encourage our staff. Others have financially supported hospice care as we are faced with a sudden surge in the number of patients we are caring each day. Without our volunteers and community support, we could not safely care for our patients and their families. 

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Locals sewing masks, making sanitizer for medical practices

A shortage of masks and other protective gear for medical personnel and first responders amid the spread of coronavirus cases has sparked an effort here and nationwide for individuals to make and donate fabric masks, booties and gowns.

Helping Hands in Berkeley Springs – Let’s Sew is one such effort. Organized by Berkeley Springs resident and business owner Jules Rone, the social media “event” has shared templates for medical masks and mobilized donations of fabric, elastic and other sewing supplies.

“Right now the world is in need of medical masks, booties and gowns, and we can actually make these while we’re at home social distancing,” Rone posted.

Rone’s store, Jules Enchanting Gifts, has been the drop-off point for supplies that are being donated for those willing to sew the masks.

The masks will go to local medical practices, War Memorial Hospital and whoever else needs them. Organizers said hospital workers expressed a need for mask covers, which could prolong the life of the medical masks they do have.

“I know of one local medical practice that definitely needs gowns and booties, and I’m sure there are more,” Rone said.

The public event can be found on Facebook along with patterns. Rone can be reached through her website or social media pages.

Other local people have said they are sewing masks for medical personnel as a backup to the national supply and for those in the community who need them to go out.

Clinics ask for masks

Area medical practices have put out a call for anyone able to sew masks.

Staff at Tri-State Community Health Center this week posted on social media that they had received a donation of fabric masks from a staff member’s mother in McConnellsburg, and were looking for any additional masks that people could sew. The health center has a template they hope to post online.

Tri-State also asked if hardware stores, contractors or painters had extra N95 masks they could donate to the medical offices. Tri-State has clinics in Hancock and Berkeley Springs. Melody Stotler can be contacted at 301-678-5187 ext. 230 or by email at [email protected] for more information.

A shortage of publically available hand sanitizer for public health nurses sparked Lisa Darsch to make containers of the sanitizer for the Morgan County Health Department staff.

Darsch, herself a nurse, said she reached out to the Health Department nursing staff to see what she could do to assist them. She said she found out that nurses there were making their own hand sanitizer in the evenings since they could not buy it and the state supply was lacking.

“They are buying the supplies with their own money to keep themselves safe,” Darsch said.

The recipe for hand sanitizer includes grain alcohol, aloe gel and essential oils for scent. A local liquor store kept her notified of shipments of the grain alcohol so she could get that part of the recipe. She bought aloe gel online.

“It was easy to do and everyone helped,” Darsch said.

She has urged elected officials to release more supplies for those in the medical field to protect themselves so they can continue to treat patients.

“Give them the much needed supplies to protect themselves and others. We are a nation of bounty. We need to spread our supplies to all areas of the country now,” said Darsch.

Article courtesy of The Morgan Messenger

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Local woman making masks to fill gap in medical supply

Since last Friday, Tina Crawford has been making masks that could help people protect themselves against coronavirus.

So far, Crawford has delivered about 40 masks and has another 30 waiting for elastic and is still sewing. Some have been made with ties as wells.

The masks are made from tightly woven cotton, which every quilter has a stash to work with, she said.

“I have made some with pockets for filters to be placed in if desired,” Crawford said by email.

She added her mother has started making them as have several friends for their local hospitals.

“We completely understand they are not as protective as the medical grade but they are better than asking nurses and patients to wear bandanas and scarves,” Crawford said.

The masks are being given away, she added, as it’s the least she could do for those “who are so important in the fight.”

Crawford said she saw a post on Facebook groups where hospitals were requesting the fabric items because of the shortage of medical masks.

The original idea was to make the masks for patients, but then she saw the shortage was so great the nurses started asking for them.

Right now, Crawford’s masks are for the medical profession and filling specific requests, but she said they could certainly be used for someone going out and about.

Her crafting the masks isn’t just local, it’s nationwide.

Crawford said someone from Texas contacted her after seeing her posts on Facebook.

“I have mailed one shipment to her and more to follow,” she said.

Crawford added her church makes pocket prayer squares to carry with them and included some for the nurses in Texas.

Some masks have headed to Meritus Health in Hagerstown and there have been requests for some for first responders in West Virginia.

If anyone would want one of Crawford’s masks, she said they can find her on Facebook or email her at [email protected].

Clinics ask for masks

Area medical practices have also put out a call for anyone able to sew masks.

Staff at Tri-State Community Health Center this week posted on social media that they had received a donation of fabric masks from a staff member’s mother in McConnellsburg, and were looking for any additional masks that people could sew. The health center has a template they hope to post online.

Tri-State also asked if hardware stores, contractors or painters had extra N95 masks they could donate to the medical offices. Tri-State has clinics in Hancock and Berkeley Springs. Melody Stotler can be contacted at 301-678-5187 ext. 230 or by email at [email protected] for more information.

Article courtesy of The Hancock News, written by Geoff Fox.

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