A range of participating organizations and representatives gathered at booths inside Newtown High School’s gymnasium on Wednesday, May 21, for the school’s annual health fair.
From 9 am until 1 pm high school students could make their way through the different booths and fill out paperwork to enter into raffles, one for a bike and one for a FitBit activity tracker. This year’s health fair had the theme of summer fun, according to Newtown Public Schools District Health Coordinator and Co-Chair of the Newtown Prevention Council Judy Blanchard, who welcomed students at the first booth.
Therapy Dogs International, representatives of Newtown’s Parks & Recreation Department, Health District Director Donna Culbert, representatives of Chartwells School Dining Services, the high school’s nurse Anne Dalton, NHS teacher Sue McConnell’s health classes, Two Coyotes Wilderness School, Newtown Youth & Family Services (NYFS), Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), a representative of Big Y, and physical education teachers were all present for the event.
Chris Clark was also on had, representing Bell Helmets. Mr Clark performed stunts on a bicycle and promoted a giveaway for a white Hyper bike through NYFS.
At the Parks & Rec booth students learned about different activities that will be available for them to attend throughout the summer and were reminded about the importance of wearing a helmet when performing sports on wheels, according to Parks & Recreation Director Amy Mangold.
Nearby, students visiting the booth provided by Chartwells School Dining Services learned about the importance of hydration and how to monitor how much sugar is in some beverages.
NHS nurse Anne Dalton had a facial scanner at the event, on loan from the New England Melanoma Foundation.
“The message is wear sun screen,” Ms Dalton said. “Put sun screen on every day when you wake up.”
Two of NHS teacher Sue McConnell’s health classes were presenting projects, recently presented at the Connecticut Student Innovation Expo.
One class, which shared a responsible design challenge project that would have people calling control centers for medical drones, earned third place at the Student Innovation Expo, according to students Olivia Ingham and Jurnee Mears.
Another class, Ms McConnell’s public health class, earned first place the Expo and had class representatives at the Health Fair explaining their project. NHS senior Amy Anyoha said her class looked at water contamination and how to create a public education campaign. A picture book was created and a website was launched, http://purecleansimple.wix.com/newtownsprings, to the project.
At the NYFS booth students were encouraged to make responsible decisions throughout the summer and were given sunglasses and earbuds along with the raffle entry to the Hyper bike.
Across the gymnasium, NHS health and physical education teachers oversaw students using hula hoops, checking their body mass index (BMI), playing Wii sports, and playing Dance Dance Revolution (DDR).