Local first responders have been working out with incoming seventh grade and some eighth grade students in a new “Badges and Barbells” program this summer at Cedar Heights Middle School.
“We have had SWAT, Marines, Covington Police and Kent Fire Department, and an Olympic weightlifter working with students,” said Principal Heidi Maurer.
Covington Police Chief Andrew McCurdy, School Resource Deputy Karen Davy, and Cedar Heights teacher and counselor, Annie Layton and Bianca Solorzano, have been leading the charge. In addition to workouts, students have been involved in community volunteering and preparing for the transition to middle school.
Solorzano described the day as one that focuses on physical well-being in the morning and then on self-identity, conflict resolution, and trust and respect in the afternoon. The last day concluded with a friendly cop versus firefighter team competition, with students on four teams running through exercise drills first responders do in training for their jobs.
First responders will continue the program during school by working out with students and athletes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays after school.