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Health fair aims to keep students on right track

Last month, North Tonawanda Middle School hosted its annual health fair. A 5K run also was included. NeXt spoke with Lindsay Turner, a health teacher in North Tonawanda who was involved in organizing the event. She also shared some tips for students looking to improve their lifestyle.

NeXt: How many years has the 5K run and health fair been at the middle school?

Turner: This is our fourth year organizing the 5K run and our third for the health fair. We have decided to make the health fair a biyearly event and the 5K annual.

NeXt: What were some of the events people were able to do at the health fair?

Turner: The K-9 demonstration was a popular event. The (North Tonawanda) Police Department was here with an interactive drinking and driving booth, and also had a car seat table where parents were able to get information and visual aids on safety regulations in regards to car seats. The NT Fire Department was here donating fire alarms.

BOCES cosmetology was here to help eight students go Bald for Bucks. The SPCA brought animals, Leon Studio One was here painting nails, and the Salon Professional Academy was here putting temporary dye in hair. There also were several insurance carriers, multiple gyms and Sen. (Rob) Ortt made an appearance. Catholic Health was doing blood pressure screening. Essence of Massages and other forms of relation therapy provided services.

The night was truly interactive. Students, their families and the community could come and participate and walk away with new knowledge. We also had a free basket raffle. So many students walked away with some great gifts.

NeXt: What was your favorite part of the health fair?

Turner: Seeing students, their families and the community come together and celebrate their health while having fun. It is so important that as a health department we instill lifelong learning. I want my students to demonstrate healthy habits their entire life, not just the 10 weeks I have them in health class. This fair helps to remind students and the community that living a healthy life should be fun. Your exercise for the day can be bouncing in a bounce house for a half hour. And this event helps to link our community to some wonderful organizations right in our immediate area.

NeXt: Do you have any tips for people who want to stay fit or want to improve their lifestyle?

Turner: Take it one day at a time. Health is not a diet; it’s a lifestyle. We try to teach our students that moderation is key. Work hard and reward yourself. One of my favorite quotes sums it up pretty nicely, “If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?”

Joseph Kraus is a junior at North Tonawanda High School.