Every Ounce Counts for Schenck Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center
May 3rd, 2012
“If you want a healthy life, then eat right, starting today!” This is a statement that Darius King, Schenck Student Government Association (SGA) representative, has continuously emphasized throughout the last six weeks. Over these last six weeks, the SGA collaborated with the Wellness Department at Schenck Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center (CCC) to promote a program called “Every Ounce Counts.” This program is a part of Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyles, a nationwide initiative that encourages better eating habits and a more active way of life for students and staff members.
Six weeks ago, students from the SGA recruited students and staff members throughout the center to get involved in “Every Ounce Counts.” Since then over fifty students and staff members have participated. Several different departments within Schenck Job Corps CCC have played a role in “Every Ounce Counts,” including the Wellness Department, Dining Hall, Culinary Arts, Recreation, and SGA.
During “Every Ounce Counts,” Schenck students and staff members have participated in several field days, including obstacle courses. Some of the activities in these field days include: basketball, jumping jacks, Frisbee, stretching, jumping rope, running laps, tug-o-war, and various relay games.
Another aspect of “Every Ounce Counts” is maintaining a healthy weight. Each week, a SGA representative weighs each student involved in the program. The students are grouped by their vocational trade on center. At the end of the six weeks, students in the vocational trade with the most weight lost will receive a free night-out, including a healthy dinner and a fun activity off center.
The dining hall is doing their part in “Every Ounce Counts” by making changes in their daily menu, to include healthier entrees and snacks. Certain staff members and students that are heavily involved in the program have helped students modify their meals. For students who need to gain weight for a healthier lifestyle, dining hall staff and students have encouraged meals with more nutritional value, and for those students who need to lose weight, they have encouraged healthier alternatives and smaller portion sizes.
The dining hall also holds “Water Wednesdays” every week. Each Wednesday, the students are offered only water or milk, no soda or juice. There will also be a new bulletin board in the dining hall promoting healthy eating and active lifestyles. The board will post tips for weight loss and healthy entrée ideas.
The Culinary Arts department also contributes to the program, by lending a hand to the dining hall. Students and staff members help by making sub sandwiches for everyone. This assists in encouraging healthy eating habits for all students and staff members.
The Recreation department is involved in “Every Ounce Counts” in a number of different ways. Various staff members organize different activities, such as circuit training and a new “walking club.” Furthermore, the department has decided to change the menu for their new student orientation meetings. Instead of providing pizza, they have decided to provide sub sandwiches, for a healthier option.
Since “Every Ounce Counts” has been such a success over the past six weeks, the program may be extended into another six weeks, in an effort to continue encouraging students and staff members to take on healthier eating habits and more active lifestyles. Cheri Jones, SGA co-advisor, is very excited for the program’s extension. “It has been a challenge for some students to realize that healthy eating and an active lifestyle is important to their well-being, but they’ve come a long way. Now they realize that their goals are attainable,” stated Jones.
Jones went on to comment on the excellent amount of accountability and encouragement among students and staff members during this program. One day, a student who has been trying to lose weight, walked in the room with a bottle of soda. Another student saw this and immediately confronted him and asked him if he was serious about the program. This student not only held the other student accountable for his actions, but she also encouraged him to choose a healthier alternative.
This is what it’s all about. Jones sums it up nicely: “It has been a group effort. Students are holding each other accountable, and I love that.” The students’ hard work is paying off too. One student has lost over forty pounds already!