Special Students In Bradley County Receive Bicycle Helmets For Tornado Safety

Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Children from the Comprehensive Development Class at Waterville Elementary in Cleveland testing their bicycle helmets which were donated by Children’s Hospital so they will have extra protection during a tornado warning.  Pictured from left to right, are Noah Bishop, Jason Rahal, Chandler Gates, Andy Gutherie, Javonte Lazenby, Tyler Ruback, Luke Cook, Britney Wall, and Kaleigh Bass.
Children from the Comprehensive Development Class at Waterville Elementary in Cleveland testing their bicycle helmets which were donated by Children’s Hospital so they will have extra protection during a tornado warning. Pictured from left to right, are Noah Bishop, Jason Rahal, Chandler Gates, Andy Gutherie, Javonte Lazenby, Tyler Ruback, Luke Cook, Britney Wall, and Kaleigh Bass.

When the Safe and Sound Program at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger received a request for bicycle helmets for a Bradley County school, little did the staff know just how important the helmets would be for some very special students. 

Several months ago, parents and teachers from Waterville Elementary paused to remember how very fortunate they were after the April 27, 2011 tornadoes. Several other schools and homes in the area were damaged by the storms, and children are still traumatized by signs of inclement weather.  However, some students can feel a little safer the next time there is a tornado warning at their school. 

School nurses Reyne Pohl from Waterville Elementary and Dorothy Philips from Taylor Elementary had an idea that would eventually help protect special education students during a tornado warning. 

“We have 27 students between the ages of five and ten years old who were unable to protect their heads with books like the other students in their school,” said Ms. Pohl.  “We did not have enough staff to help hold books over their heads during tornado drills, and they were left unprotected.” 

The nurses contacted Cathy Jennings with the Children’s Hospital Ronald McDonald Care Mobile whose medical service outreach in Bradley County created a safety partnership between the school system and the hospital.  Coy Ellis, Children’s Hospital Safe and Sound Coordinator, was asked if Safe and Sound could donate bicycle helmets so the children could wear them during a tornado warning. 

“We have a wonderful relationship with our regional outreach,” said Ms. Jennings.  “We uncovered a need, and it spoke volumes to see it answered so quickly.” 

After the helmets were delivered, they were labeled with each student’s name.  When there is a warning, the student or teacher will go to the closet, retrieve the helmet, and make sure each helmet is snug on the child’s head. 

“We labeled them with the child’s name so they will fit properly,” said Ms. Pohl.  “And, if something happens to the child, he or she can be easily identified.” 

The children recently participated in a mini drill to test the new policy with the bicycle helmets.  The teachers and parents thought it was a huge success, and are extremely grateful for the support from Children’s Hospital. 

“This was just one step further in keeping the children safe while at school,” said Ms. Pohl.

“It was one of the most creative ideas we have heard in a long time,” said Mr. Ellis.  “I am looking forward to working with other schools in the region to provide this same service.” 


Cleveland State Host 8th Annual Multicultural Fair

Cleveland State Community College hosted its eighth annual Multicultural Fair on Saturday. The fair, designed to celebrate the different cultures, featured a colorful parade of nations, international studies information, booths featuring different nationalities, and culturally based entertainment, including the St. Therese Spanish Youth Dancers, Mawre and Company African Dance ... (click for more)

Baylor Community Service Group Leaves For Jamaica

Ten service-minded Baylor students left this week to travel to Jamaica over spring break, where they will work in the squatter community of Ferry, an orphanage in Kingston, the Home for the Aged, and primary schools in Kingston.  This year’s group includes James Atkins, Natalie Becker, Erin Blalock, Kathryn Cash, Caroline Combs, Natalie Javadi, Ansley McWilliams, Kate Probasco, ... (click for more)

Hard Freeze Predicted In The Area For Saturday Night

Temperatures are expected to drop Saturday night to 28 degrees or less. Here is the latest report from the National Weather Service:  HARD FREEZE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT EDT /11 PM CDT/ TONIGHT TO 11 AM EDT /10 AM CDT/ SUNDAY... * EVENT... A HARD FREEZE EXPECTED WITH LOWS FROM THE TEENS NORTH TO THE UPPER 20S SOUTH LATE TONIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING. ... (click for more)

Man Charged In Shooting On Sixth Avenue Had Been Shot Himself Last Week; Police Say Incident "Part Of Gang War"

A man charged with attempted first-degree murder on Sixth Avenue Court on Thursday afternoon was shot himself earlier this month. O'Shae Kadaris Smith, 20, of 2114 E. 12th St., is also charged with reckless endangerment, aggravated assault and possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime. He was one of two people shot on Rawlings Street on March 16. Kendre Allen, ... (click for more)

Finley Stadium Needs To Grow Up - And Response

RE:  Finley Stadium Financial Picture Rosy; Beer And Alcohol Sales Approved; AstroTurf Almost Ready and City, County Pitching In $250,000 Each For New Finley Stadium AstroTurf I read a story here five days ago about a rosy future for Finley stadium. It lead me to believe that the stadium was making money and even improvements with donations.  Then we get a short ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mom’s Parting Instructions

My mother, Helen Exum, went to be with the Lord in late August of last year and, in the way folks do, I was going through some of her files last week when I ran across an envelope with my name on it. Inside was a story and written in her hand were the words, “This is a wonderful story for you to tell!” Not being one to disobey my mother and not about to waylay the wishes of the ... (click for more)