The Richmond Register

April 16, 2014

Health fairs cover contemporary teenage topics

Subhead: At Berea and Clark-Moores

By Crystal Wylie
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — Berea Community High School health students coordinated their first all-day health fair in November that was catered to elementary students.

But their spring fair Monday handled more mature issues that targeted the middle and high school crowd, said health teacher Cathy Jones.

Although students had their pick of topics ranging from sexually transmitted diseases, drunk driving, smoking, mental health, sugary drinks, learning disabilities and fitness, some students thought “sexting” should be included, she said.

“It’s a hot topic and something teenagers encounter. They thought it was important to cover,” said Jones, who permitted the students to pair sexting with cyberbullying for their presentation. Students asked their classmates to sign a pledge against doing both.

Members of the school’s Wellness Club created fruity, creamy concoctions using a smoothie machine purchased through a grant that was awarded to the school last year. Each health fair visitor received a ticket to exchange for a free sample smoothie.

Students tried out their “warrior” and “tree” poses led by student yogis. Even Veggie Man, their green mascot with fruits and vegetables all over his body, got in a good stretch with the yoga group.

Jones said she plans to make this student-led health fair a twice-yearly event.

Eastern Kentucky University professor Laurie Larkin and her public health students conducted a health fair at Clark-Moores Middle School on Friday.

EKU students share presentations and demonstrations on topics including fitness, drugs, stress, hygiene, depression, social media, suicide, nutrition, smoking, sex education, domestic violence and alcohol, said Vickie Fritz, the principal.

CMMS students were divided into small groups and rotated between stations to be exposed to a variety of health-related information. Students also could actively participate, ask questions and have discussions with the EKU presenters, Fritz said.

“It proved to be an excellent learning experience for both CMMS and EKU students,” she added.