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UPDATES: Salem Health will shut down fairgrounds vaccine clinic July 24

3 months ago

Better recess helps kids do better in school, OSU study finds

Kindergarten and first grade Schirle Sharks begin to finish the school's 2019 Turkey Trot (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Not all recess is created equal. That’s the conclusion of an Oregon State University professor’s recent study.

Assistant professor William Masey, who has a PhD in sport and exercise psychology, found the quality of recess for students influences behavior and social development. His study was published July 7 in the Journal of School Health and draws data from 25 schools across five states during the 2018-2019 school year. 

Massey said as students return to in-person classes, school districts have the opportunity to rethink recess. 

The quality of recess was measured using several factors. Did the playground offer physical and environmental safety? Could kids play? Were there opportunities for inclusion? Were there diverse options for play?

“I’ve been on playgrounds where the kids go outside, and it’s a parking lot with high fences, no play structure, no balls, no jump-ropes, no chalk — they’re literally outside, and there’s nothing to do,” Massey said said in a university news release about the study.

Adults, Massey said, also played a big part in recess quality. 

“A lot of my previous research shows that adults are one of the most important entities on the playground,” Massey said in the statement. “One of the most important things is: Do adults model and encourage positive interactions with the students, and do they actually engage with the students themselves? The more adults engage with and play with students at recess, the more kids play, the more physical activity there is and the less conflict there is.”

Students with a high quality of recess, Massey said, saw positive outcomes in classroom behavior and self-control. 

Based on the study’s findings, Massey said the data supports schools making recess a critical part of the day by investing time and resources including low-cost measures like having adults complete safety sweeps of the playground and setting up play equipment in advance. 

Research contained in the study was completed prior to the pandemic but Massey said the information has only become more important as educators flirt with more time in class to catch kids up academically. 

“I would argue that’s a huge mistake,” Massey said. “Kids don’t have the capacity to come in stressed and traumatized and out of the rhythm of school, and have all that dumped on them. These findings show that recess is not detrimental to what we want to see in the classroom, but rather, it’s complementary.”

-Caitlyn May

3 months ago

Center 50+ looking for volunteers

Center 50+ cafe coordinator Judy Pack portions out meals for center staff members while volunteers pick up their daily deliveries in the background. Tuesday, April 14 2020. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

As Center 50+ prepares for a September grand opening, it’s looking for volunteers to help greet members, supervise the hobby room and work the coffee bar.

Salem’s city-run senior center has been helping seniors with activity boxes, mobile wellness checks and food deliveries throughout the pandemic and volunteers are tired, said Marilyn Daily Blair, executive director of Center 50+.

The center has been closed since last March, but the front doors opened on July 6. It is slowly rolling out programs as they prepare for a grand re-opening on Sept. 7.

Hobby areas, the fitness center and some classes are available by reservation.

She said the center is looking for about 200 volunteers, ideally retired.

Typically, the center has 525 volunteers each year, Daily Blair said.

Volunteer trainings will be held on July 15 and 16 and people can reserve a spot by calling 503-588-6303.

More information about volunteering is available on the city’s website.

-Saphara Harrell

3 months ago

Salem Health will shut down fairgrounds vaccine clinic July 24

People wait in line outside of a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Oregon State Fairgrounds on Thursday, Jan. 28. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

The first mass vaccination site opened in Oregon will also be the last to close.

Salem Health announced Friday it will end Covid vaccinations at the state fairgrounds on July 24. To date, the site has administered more than 212,000 vaccines to over 100,000 people.

With 70% of adult Oregonians vaccinated against Covid, demand for mass vaccinations has been falling. Salem Health closed a smaller site in Polk County on June 25.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to care for our community throughout this pandemic and our vaccination program has been some of the most important work of our careers in health care,” said Cheryl Wolfe, president and CEO of Salem Health in a prepared statement.

Anyone 12 or older can still get vaccinated at the fairgrounds through July 24. The clinic will remain open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. People who get a first dose of vaccine in the coming weeks will be given directions for getting a second dose elsewhere, Salem Health said in a news release.

Salem Health will continue offering smaller vaccination clinics, targeting areas with lower rates of vaccination.

That includes upcoming vaccination clinics scheduled Saturday, July 10 and July 17 at Mega Foods, 3695 Devonshire Ave., off Lancaster Drive N.E. in Salem. From 2-6 p.m., vaccines will be available and Salem Health will provide a free meal from the site's food carts for anyone getting a first or second dose of vaccine.

-Rachel Alexander

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