Council approves funding for program that “builds muscle and relationships”
StoryBadges and Barbells, an afterschool program designed to build trust between students and first responders, received a boost today thanks to legislation sponsored by Metropolitan King County Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn. The Council gave its unanimous approval to legislation providing $500 from the 2016-2017 King County Biennial Budget to the Covington program.
“I am glad to support the important work Badges and Barbells is doing for students and schools,” said Dunn. “The trust that these first responders are building with students is valuable and could be critical in preventing future crises.”
“This collaboration between Councilmember Dunn, Puget Sound First Responders Service Foundation, Kent Regional Fire Authority, Covington Rotary, and Cedar Heights Staff, ASB, and PTSA is building a program that will benefit the community for many years to come,” said Andrew McCurdy, the Chief of Police in the city of Covington. “Instead of waiting until there is a crisis for us to try to communicate, this program will build trust between kids and cops in a positive and supportive environment. Instead of knowing each other only by stereotypes, we will get to know each other as human beings and become friends. This program will also help keep kids and first responders safe because people make better decisions when they are healthy and feel as though they are part of a community.”
“Badges and Barbells” provides strength and conditioning for students and first responders of all skill levels. Students from Highline School District’s Evergreen High School and recently, Kent School District’s Cedar Heights Middle School, had the opportunity to build positive relationships with first responders through the “Badges and Barbells Weightlifting Club” while actively achieving fitness goals with the help of USA Weightlifting Certified Coaches. Students learn how to identify goals and adapt the program to meet their individual needs in a supportive environment alongside first responders including law enforcement, corrections and fire personnel.
The program started at Evergreen High School while McCurdy was working as the Sheriff’s Office Advanced Training Unit Sergeant at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Center in Burien and now serves Covington students at the Kent School District’s Cedar Heights Middle School as of this past year. The funds approved today will go to the brand new program at Cedar Heights Middle School.
Thanks to community support and continued partnerships, Badges and Barbells is now able to offer programs at two schools and over the summer.
For more information on Badges and Barbells check out the website