Portage Dispatch - Portage Dispatch
Serving Portage, Beaverdale, Cassandra, Dunlo, Ehrenfeld, Elton, Lilly, Salix, Sidman, South Fork, St. Michael, Summerhill and Wilmore, since 1904
Vol. 107 No. 39 USPS 439-000 Portage, PA
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Newsstand Price 75¢
Forest Hills Elementary students participate in running program
Boosts activity, fitness levels
By Ashley Flynn
of Mainline Newspapers
Macy Sral shoots a compound bow during a Youth Day held in Portage last weekend. Photo by Chris Hochrein.
Getting fit and staying active has become more important than ever, especially for younger children who might prefer playing a video game to playing outside. At Forest Hills Elementary, however, students are encouraged to ramp up their activity level by participating in a new running program that makes exercise fun. Sponsored through a grant from ING, the Run For Something Better campaign helps foster a desire to exercise in kids before obesity can become a health issue. Forest Hills Elementary School was one of only 50 schools in the nation to receive the grant, explained middle school physical education teacher Denon Carpenter. Each program must last at least eight weeks and have two days of programming per week, he added. At Forest Hills, the program goes above and beyond those
requirements by offering three days of programming for students in fourth through sixth grades. One day of the program is actual running, Carpenter said. Students run as much as they can based on their ability. Although some students may only be able to run short distances before stopping, others in the program can go over two miles, Carpenter noted. The second day consists of teaching, during which Carpenter explains various running concepts to students. Topics like pace, proper running form, and the mechanics of a proper warmup and cool-down are covered. On the third program day each week, students participate in a cardiovascular game like Capture the Flag. “They're constantly moving,” Carpenter said. “The whole idea is just to get the kids moving,” he said of the program.
SEE RUNNING, PAGE 8A
Portage native excels in realm of female body building
Brains, beauty and brawn make Valdez a contender
By Ashley Flynn
of Mainline Newspapers
Maintaining a level of fitness had always been second nature for Portage native Brenda Valdez, but after her husband Paul was deployed to Afghanistan a few years ago, her hobby morphed into a competitive passion. Now an accomplished female body builder, Valdez credits her disci-
pline for enabling her to advance to her current status as a national competitor. Brenda (Latherow) Valdez graduated from Portage Area High School in 1990, having been very involved in both Track and Field as well as the band. Her family included parents John and Judy Latherow, who currently live in Virginia Beach, and siblings Sherry, Debbie, Cindy and Johnny.
Brenda Valdez as a senior.
Immediately after graduation, Valdez went into the United States Air Force for four years and used the GI Bill to become a Registered Nurse. She currently works as an RN at the Keesler Medical Center Family Birthing Center in Biloxi, Mississippi. Valdez has been married for 17 years and has a 10-year-old daughter Jalyn and a nine-yearold daughter Bella. “I always maintained some
level of fitness but became very serious three years ago as a coping mechanism while my husband was deployed to Afghanistan,” Valdez recalled. “I was approached by some trainers to begin competing.” Valdez weight trains and does cardio five days a week, she explained. However, when she is 12 weeks out from a show,
SEE BODY, PAGE 4A
Forest Hills Board gets various updates
By Sean Wechtenhiser
for Mainline Newspapers
At the Sept. 14 meeting of the Forest Hills School Board, the members got updates on a variety of topics. An update was given on the
Happenings ....................2-3A Classifieds ..................17-19B Entertainment ....................5B Golden Glances ................ 2B Obituaries........................4,6B Sports............................7-16B Church ............................20A
Feasibility study related to making decisions about construction of a new school. The study, which has been ongoing since 2008, will be wrapped up. Based on information from this study, the board will have five or six options. The next step in process would be the selection of an architect. Board member Rick Daniels suggested forming a committee of residents, Edwin Bowser, administration, and staff. Further updates will occur at future meetings. The board also received an update on the In-Shore technology audit. Three faculty members from each building were to be randomly selected to discuss technology. A meeting will then be held with Technology Coordinator Jim Reese to discuss
SEE BOARD, PAGE 19A
Out on the lake
Portage buddies Logan Shaffer and Zeke Fox canoe at Twin Lakes during the Youth Fair in Portage. Photo by Chris Hochrein.
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