Spring Break has come and gone, and with flowers and leaves springing up in our corner of the state, we wanted to share three exciting new developments at the Trust!

1) Record breaking attendance at the 8th Annual SEW Conference!

2019 SEW Conference by the Numbers:

  • 291 attendees
  • 53 school districts, ESDs, and community colleges represented
  • 4 organizations returning for the 8th time
  • 3 Attend as a Team drawing winners; each won $200 to put toward employee wellness efforts
    • Ashland School District
    • Lebanon School District
    • Southern Oregon ESD
  • 1 puppy – as part of a “Take Ten” break to model wellness, presenter Gigi Sims of Corvallis School District made her dog available for petting

Keynote speaker Jess Lawrence of Cairn Guidance presented Do Something Extraordinary. Through storytelling, she described her 4,197 mile biking trip across the United States and inspired others to do something extraordinary with 6 steps:

  • Set a goal
  • Determine your team
  • Sustainability
  • Consistent messages
  • Share your story
  • Celebrate

This year, breakout sessions focused on the five elements of employee well-being (physical, social, emotional, purpose and financial) as well as the successful development of School Employee Wellness programs. Corvallis School District and David Douglas School District both presented about their journeys to create and sustain district-wide wellness programs.

Special thanks to the Conference Planning Committee; this group is integral in shaping the conference and its success!

Planning Committee Members:

Glenn Baly, Cassy Bieker, Jennifer Chandler, Elana Emlen, Elizabeth Engberg, Erica Hedberg, Shelly Henderson, Emmie Hiersche, Peggy Holstedt, Julie Mack, Mark Mitchell, Dede Montgomery, Carrie Townsend, Jennifer Young, Kay Zimmerli

To see breakout session presentations and photos from the conference, see the new 2019 Wellness Conference page.

2) Nine new SEW grantees!

The OEA Choice Trust Board of Trustees awarded nine School Employee Wellness grants in January! The recipients are:

  • Crook County School District
  • Douglas ESD
  • Gervais School District
  • Klamath Community College
  • La Grande School District
  • Lebanon Community School District
  • Seaside School District
  • St. Paul School District
  • Vernonia School District

School Employee Wellness Grants are awarded for up to $100,000 over the course of 5 years to organizations committed to improving the health, well-being and resilience of school employees and building a culture of health and well-being in the workplace.

Funds are used to develop sustainable programs that are supported by leadership and staff driven. Because each district, ESD and community college is unique, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all way to develop a program. Instead, OEA Choice Trust offers technical assistance and free resources to help grantees create and grow programs that shift the environment and culture to meet local employee and district needs.

The next School Employee Wellness Grant opportunity will open in fall 2019. To learn more about the grant application process, check out our SEW Grant Webinar.

If you’re interested in applying for a SEW Grant in the fall, please email SEW Program Manager Asta Garmon at asta@oeachoice.com to be added to the email list.

3) Six more Mini Grants awarded!

In February, Mini Grants were awarded to:

  • Dayton School District
  • Linn Benton Lincoln ESD
  • Philomath School District
  • Powers School District
  • Silver Falls School District
  • The Village School (Eugene)

These organizations will use Mini Grants to support their established SEW programs. Mini Grant projects include maintaining and adding exercise equipment to a staff fitness center, implementing agency-wide step challenges, bringing in a motivational speaker, adding Wellness Walls in each building, providing wellness workshops, adding yoga classes and reinstating pool passes for staff, holding a conflict resolution and mediation class, and holding a Wellness Kickoff in the fall.

Mini Grants will be available again in the fall of 2019. Please contact Arien with any questions: arien@oeachoice.com

To be eligible for a Mini Grant, you must demonstrate the following:

  • District and building leadership are committed to school employee wellness and dedicates resources (staff, time, space) to promote staff health and well-being
  • An active wellness coordinator and/or employee wellness team exists that is dedicated to employee health and well-being
  • Staff wellness needs and interests are surveyed and used to plan a school employee wellness program that serves ALL employees
  • An action plan is in place as a roadmap for the implementation of the school employee wellness program

To learn more about the Mini Grant application process, view the Mini Grant webinar.

We will announce more happy news and milestones in the near future! Until then, feel free to check out the Success Stories page, which features the work of past and current Trust grantees, and the Grantee Inspired Resources page.