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They Are Still at It – Still Protecting and Serving the Community

By Fletcher Word
Sojourner’s Truth Editor

Former Police Officers Floella Wormely and Anita Madison will once again host the Brains and Body Summer Fitness Challenge this summer at Woodward High School from June 3 to July 3. Students entering the second grade to the ninth grade will be able to participate in a fitness program designed to enhance educational performance and promote physical conditioning.

Floella Wormely, Officer Derek Kizer, Anita Madison

Three years ago, July 1, 2016, the two long-time members of the Toledo Police Department, Officer Wormely and Sergeant Madison, brought together their families, friends and co-workers and held a joint celebration of their retirement from TPD.

Wormely retired after 32 years on the job. A member of the Police Prevention Team since the early 1990’s, Wormely had, and still has, a long history of community service on the job and although she was longer an officer after July 1, 2016, her service to the community continued uninterrupted.

Among Wormely’s many accomplishments is the founding of S.T.R.I.V.E. in 1997. S.T.R.I.V.E., a summer educational program, offered students not only the opportunity to study for state-mandated tests but also the chance to actually take the OGT (Ohio Graduation Test) during the summer session in order to complete a key requirement for graduation.

Wormely came upon the idea of starting S.T.R.I.V.E. at the suggestion of her son after she had expressed her frustration to him about the lack of summer educational programs for students of his age. “Why don’t you start your own, mom?” he challenged her. She did just that.

Working through the Police Prevention Team process, she drafted certified teachers and a program was born.

After 22 years on the Toledo Police Department, Madison retired on the same day as her good friend. And, as is the case with Wormely, Madison, whose main focus over her years with TPD has been community involvement, continued that interaction.

After spending four years on street patrol, Madison became a school resource officer, then a community services officer (CSO).  In that position she was tasked with implementing a senior volunteer program to work with citizens on improving the condition of their neighborhoods.

In 2012, Madison received the assignment that has brought her the greatest degree of professional satisfaction when she was assigned to the Toledo Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (T-CIRV) unit. “The effort to reduce violence among gang members is the most important part of it,” says Madison. “And the community aspect is the most important part of that. The community aspect is not a different piece – we are getting the community to help reduce violence in their own neighborhood.”

By the time she retired, Madison was also a part of S.T.R.I.V.E. and continued with that work.

In recent years, however, the Ohio OGT has evolved and the summer preparedness program was no longer applicable, so S.T.R.I.V.E. evolved as well. The Brains and Body Summer Fitness Program has become an all-encompassing program for both educational and physical fitness for a wider range of students. Wormely and Madison are the faces of the program.

They have plenty of help, however. The Toledo Police Department is assisting with in-kind funding by proving police officers, such as Officer Derek Kizer, as mentors, particularly for the fitness part of the program. Toledo Public Schools is providing the building (the program has been housed at Woodward High School after its initial two years at Robinson Elementary) and the transportation. Brains and Body uses certified TPS teachers for the educational program activities.

Wormely and Madison also raise funds from a variety of private and public sources in order to continue their efforts. Smallridge Development, LLC; Walk the Word Ministries; Paramount; NOW Building & Construction Trades; Laborers Local 500; UAW C.A.P. Council and Plumbers Local 50 are some of the private donors that have assisted the program. Recently, the program has obtained Title I funding through TPS – federal funds that are designated for use in community programs.

Registration is now open for this summer’s Fitness Challenge. The five-week program is held on Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Breakfast and lunch are provided and the cost per child is only $100. To register, parents and guardians can call S.T.R.I.V.E. at 419-322-8425. Registration is limited and on a first come-first serve basis.



Copyright © 2019 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 05/09/19 08:41:55 -0400.

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