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Collinsville school nurse promoting healthy living in districts across Oklahoma
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Collinsville school nurse promoting healthy living in districts across Oklahoma

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A Collinsville school nurse is promoting healthy living across Oklahoma.

Brandi Glasscock is among two dozen school nurses and physical education instructors throughout the state who have been given a unique opportunity to help support school-based health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Glasscock’s efforts come as part of the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s new Project SWITCH — short for Strengthening Wellness and Improving Teachers and Children’s Health — to monitor chronic diseases, and provide safety and best practices for physical education and activity during the 2020-21 school year.

“This project means a lot to me personally as a school nurse in Collinsville,” Glasscock said, “because, even though we are technically in a large county, we still have a lot of issues that rural areas face in regards to resources, education and health promotion.”

Through SWITCH, Glasscock has been assigned a region of Oklahoma — which includes Creek, Pawnee, Osage, Washington, Nowata, Rogers and Cherokee counties — to focus her efforts. She will receive training and resources provided by the DOE, Oklahoma State Department of Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention while on assignment.

Between November and May, Glasscock will partner with a physical education teacher from Sand Springs, Mike Carter, and will provide three online Zoom trainings to network with districts that may require additional resources or assistance.

“Between the two of us, the local health departments and Indian Health Services,” Glasscock said, “we hope to gain a better understanding of the needs of the communities in these areas to share health guidance and best practices for the health teams, teachers and students.

Glasscock, who serves sixth- through 12th-grade students in Collinsville, added that she’s excited to branch out and make a difference beyond the confines of her school walls.

“I want to be an asset to my community and district by helping to provide health education and resources to keep us all healthy and safe,” she said. “Project SWITCH is providing that opportunity by helping us to collaborate with other districts in the state and build relationships where we can share information and data.”

In 2018, the DOE received a Get Fit grant from the CDC to increase the number of students who are physically active, eat nutritious meals and manage chronic health conditions. This resulted in a $333,000 supplemental grant, or Project SWITCH.

More information about Project SWITCH can be found at sde.ok.gov/safe-and-healthy-schools/project-switch.

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