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Warner Elementary health, safety fair set for Friday

By Evan Cook

evan.cook@jessaminejournal.com

Warner Elementary will host a school health fair  Friday during the school day with organizations talking to students about health and safety.

“Several years ago, McDonalds had a grant opportunity,” said Emily Best, physical education teacher at Warner Elementary. “I wrote the grant to provide a health fair for our students. I wanted them to be able to sample some different types of foods from the food groups. We have so many health topics to cover, I thought this would be a great way for our kids to experience the topics. The kids loved it so much we decided to make this a yearly event.”

Topics will include bicycle safety, healthy eating habits, beneficial hand washing and several others related to a healthy lifestyle.

University of Kentucky students enrolled in KHP 380: Health Education in the Elementary Classroom, will make presentations as a part of their class and to help with the fair.

“I was originally put in touch with Emily in 2015 in preparation for the health fair in spring 2016 through Dr. Liz Fettrow,” said Jennifer McMullen, a lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion at UK. “Dr. Fettrow also teaches KHP 380 and had worked with Emily previously in having our students present to the Warner Elementary students in the annual health fair.”

There will be about 25 students from McMullen’s KHP 380 class, and about 32 students from Dr. Fettrow’s KHP 230 class.

“This is a great experience for our kids because the class comes up with the best hands on mini lessons,” Best said. “It is also a great experience for the UK students. They get to work with actual elementary-aged students and that is a valuable experience. Our health fair is now a part of their class.”

UK students will bring a service dog in training to teach proper dog safety from 12:35 to 1:35 p.m.

“I own a dog and noticed how kids approach us in my neighborhood,” Best said. “I feel like I am always telling them, ‘please ask before you pet my dog.’ I got to thinking maybe kids do not realize this, so I asked my students and they really didn’t know. Thats when I decided to make it a health fair station. I think it is super important for kids, or really anyone, to know the proper way to approach a dog.”

Nurses from UK will be there to discuss the importance of helmets and their purpose in protecting kids. Amanda Rist from the UK hospital specializes in head trauma. Last year, she gave out helmets to the students, so they would not have an excuse not to use one.

Miss Kentucky will be attending to talk about and promote Kentucky Proud products and the importance of healthy eating.

Tammy Cole, who use to work at Warner Elementary, now works with 911 dispatch, and will be attending the event with the Jessamine County EMS. They will have a station to talk about proper and effective 911 use in the event of an emergency.

The Jessamine Community and Technical College nursing class taught by Freddie Grall will help run a few of the stations.

“I believe topics promoting health are vital for young learners to be exposed to,” McMullen said. “Considering the varying dimensions of health, such as physical, emotional, social, impact their ability to succeed in the classroom academically.”

As the grant ran out, Best said she had to get creative, so she began to utilize the gracious help of community members.

Southland Christian Church partnered to provide smoothie supplies to pass out as healthy snacks. Best also works closely with the Family Resource Center coordinator and helps put the word out to those who wish to volunteer their assistance.

“We take for granted that our kids know about sunscreen application, petting a dog and living near railroad tracks,” Best said. “We need to take every opportunity we have to educate our students on these topics. Our school is lucky to have so many willing community members come in to share their knowledge and experience with us.”