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February 23, 2013

A lot on tap for Unadilla Valley's 10th anniversary

By Mark Boshnack
The Daily Star

---- — With the Unadilla Valley Central School celebrating its 10th anniversary Jan. 7, the district recently announced several initiatives. They included a re-dedication ceremony May 3. An alumni dinner is also being organized for that weekend. Superintendent Robert Mackey is looking for volunteers to help for the weekend events. He can be reached at or 847-7500, ext. 1131. He encouraged people to share the UVCS Alumni Association Facebook page or follow the link at

The school recently received a federal School Performance Improvement Grant that will help the district continue to improve programming for the future, he said. The school has already started to lay the foundation to offer students the opportunity to graduate high school with a two-year college associate’s degree along with their high school diploma. The goal is to have everything in place for freshman starting by fall 2015.

The first class in a monthly cooking school at the Boys & Girls Club of Sidney was a success, said club Executive Director James Tweedie. On Thursday, 21 students made a dinner of spaghetti and meatballs and salad for more than 60 people. The program is based on the Eat Smart New York program, said Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County nutrition teaching assistant Amy VanAlstyne. She has worked with the club before.

Program information includes: eat fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nonfat or low-fat milk or milk products every day; be physically active every day as part of a healthy lifestyle; balance calories eaten from foods and beverages with calories used when being physically active. It also teaches participants such skills as reading labels to find the most nutritious food.

The Sidney program is funded through a state nutrition grant through the state Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs. It also allows the club to serve healthy after-school snacks. Since the program started Jan. 17, more than 570 snacks have been provided to more than 100 area youth.

In other club news, Jordan Macak of Franklin was the winner of an iPad Mini in the club’s recent membership drive. Another contest will be held in April, Tweedie said.

A recent Worcester Central School newsletter talked about the school’s efforts to promote student health, along with its school-based health center. This included 10 ways to get kids involved with health cooking and shopping from the Better Health Foundation. This included letting children wash fruit and vegetables when preparing for cooking and eating; when shopping let them select at least one new fruit or vegetable to try and let them sprinkle herbs or other seasonings onto vegetables. More information is available at

A recent story on a logging safety program by the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health, was a chance to be reacquainted with the agency whose mission is enhancing agricultural and rural health by preventing and treating occupational injury and illness. It is part of the Bassett Healthcare Network.

Senior research coordinator Erika E. Scott said current research projects deal with such issues as community-based initiatives to address migrant occupational health challenges and tractor rollover protection. Outreach and educational activities include free on-farm safety surveys and training and farm emergency response training in the areas of first aid, CPR, and the use of fire extinguishers.

Clinical consultation is provided through the Farmers’ Occupational Health Clinic, a diagnostic clinic that can include a worksite assessment as needed. The center also includes a library which serves the agricultural community, as well as safety and health professionals. Social work services are provided as part of the Farm Partners program which provides free and confidential counseling and case management assistance to farmers and their families. It has also grown to include HealthWorks-a fee for service program, developed in response to the needs of small rural businesses, to provide pre-placement and annual employee evaluations and assure OSHA compliance.

Mark Boshnack is a staff writer for The Daily Star. He can be reached at