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Family Read Nights Underway at Elementary Schools

September 19, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

Family Read Nights are underway at Smithville Elementary, DeKalb West, and Northside Elementary as part of the Accelerated Reader Program.

Read Nights give parents an opportunity to spend quality time reading with their children on designated days and times after school. Other family members may also participate in reading with the students.

“It’s a good thing. It helps the kids learn how to read. We try to come at least once a week so they can earn their AR points,” said Rebecca Waggoner, who read to her children during Family Read Night Wednesday at Smithville Elementary School.

Accelerated Reader is a computerized program that tests reading comprehension. Students select books on their reading level, read independently, and take an independent comprehension test on the computer. Each book is worth a certain number of points based on its length and reading level. Students get a percentage of these points based on how many of the test questions they get right. The program tracks their progress over the course of the school year.

“Its nice for parents because they can actually see their children’s growth in reading by participating with them,” said Dr. Danielle Collins, Federal Programs Supervisor for the school system

Family Read Night occurs all year long so check with your child’s school for a schedule.




Flu Season is Here

September 19, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

Flu season is here

Health care providers are encouraging you to be immunized because it can make a big difference by helping you and others avoid becoming sick.

The DeKalb County Health Department is now offering flu shots and accepts all insurances. Prices are based on sliding scale of income for self-pay patients. Hours are 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. and from 1-3:30 p.m.

Call for more information at 615-597-7599.

Flu shots are also available at local health care clinics and pharmacies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Tennessee Department of Health recommend annual flu vaccination for everyone over the age of six months. It’s especially important for pregnant women to be vaccinated in order to protect their unborn children. One major challenge for health officials is combating rumors and myths about flu immunizations. It is important to note: It is not possible for the flu shot to give you the flu.

After your flu vaccination, it’s still important to practice good health habits to protect yourself from the flu and other viruses, and to prevent spreading them to others if you do get sick. Good health habits include frequent hand washing with soapy water or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and covering coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or tissue. People who are sick should stay home if at all possible to recover to prevent spreading illness to coworkers, friends and others.




Haven of Hope Offers Tips for Suicide Prevention

September 19, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

Suicide is a major public health concern. Over 40,000 people die by suicide each year in the United States; it is the 10th leading cause of death overall.

Haven of Hope of DeKalb County reminds you that September is Suicide Prevention Month.

As WJLE first reported earlier this month DeKalb County had the 5th highest suicide rate among the state’s 95 counties for the year 2016 and it was 2nd highest in the 14 county Upper Cumberland Region according to statistics reported by the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network.

In 2016, the latest year for which county-specific figures are available, DeKalb County’s age-adjusted suicide rate was 41.3 per 100,000 people, translating into eight reported suicide deaths. That is up from 26.1 per 100,000 or five reported suicide deaths in 2015 and significantly up from 15.6 per 100,000 people or three reported suicide deaths in 2014.

The DeKalb suicide rate is also higher than the state average of 16.2 per 100,000 population for 2016.

Suicide is complicated and tragic but it is often preventable. Knowing the warning signs for suicide and how to get help can help save lives.

If you need help there is a “Haven of Hope” of DeKalb County.

“If you or someone you know is struggling emotionally or having a hard time we can be the difference that can help you or them to get the care needed,” said Haven of Hope Counselor Tonya Knab.

“Haven of Hope is a mental health service provider for the state. We are state licensed and we help people with all kinds of different emotional and mental issues. We help children and adults with depression, anxiety, past trauma, adjustments to life problems/issues and many other areas.. Our mission is to enhance our client’s lives, their families, and the community by providing professional counseling, support groups, classes and programs to residents of DeKalb County and the surrounding communities,” said Samantha Curtis, LPC MHSP, Clinical Director for Haven of Hope.

The behaviors listed below may be signs that someone is thinking about suicide.

  • Talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill themselves
  • Talking about feeling empty, hopeless, or having no reason to live
  • Making a plan or looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online, stockpiling pills, or buying a gun
  • Talking about great guilt or shame
  • Talking about feeling trapped or feeling that there are no solutions
  • Feeling unbearable pain (emotional pain or physical pain)
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Using alcohol or drugs more often
  • Acting anxious or agitated
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Changing eating and/or sleeping habits
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Taking great risks that could lead to death, such as driving extremely fast
  • Talking or thinking about death often
  • Displaying extreme mood swings, suddenly changing from very sad to very calm or happy
  • Giving away important possessions
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family
  • Putting affairs in order, making a will

If these warning signs apply to you or someone you know, get help as soon as possible, particularly if the behavior is new or has increased recently. One resource is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If there is an immediate emergency, go to the emergency room of the hospital.

“We want to get the word out that Haven of Hope of DeKalb County is here and we are local. We are located at 301 West Main Street in the old Magnolia House at the four way stop. You may contact us at 615-597-4673. Our office hours are 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday but we have an emergency phone number there you can call and it will contact one of our counselors. We can help you or point you in the right direction,” said Curtis.




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