Health and Wellness Expo Offered by Ballston Spa Schools
BALLSTON SPA – The Ballston Spa Central School District’s Health and Wellness committee will be hosting a Health and Wellness Expo on March 1, 2014 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Gordon Creek Elementary School located at 50 Wood Road. This FREE family friendly event is open to all ages – students, parents and residents of the district.
Each school building will be showcasing service learning projects and educational activities that have taken place throughout the school year. Over 45 organizations and businesses will also provide information about fitness, healthy eating, bike helmet safety and related health and wellness topics.
A partial list of exhibitors committed to participating includes Ballston Spa National Bank, Albany Medical Center, Hannaford Supermarkets, Saratoga County EOC, BACC, local massage therapists, Reiki practitioners, chiropractors, dentists, orthodontists, yoga instructors, as well as many other health and wellness practitioners.
The Expo is FREE and open to ALL children, families and individuals residing in the Ballston Spa Central School District. Partial funding from the district’s current State Farm Insurance Company grant will be used to support this district-wide community event grounded in financial literacy, health and wellness.
Raffle prize winners will be announced throughout the day and many free giveaways will be available as well. For additional information about the 2014 Expo please visit the website at www.bscsd.org or contact Tammy McCarthy, District Health & Wellness team representative at email@example.com or call 884-7270.
On Saturday, March 2 the scene was set as the sun beamed off the sleek white paint of the Community Emergency Corps ambulance at the Ballston Spa Central School District’s first district-wide Health and Wellness Expo. Thirty tables lined a path around the high school’s cafeteria and gym, displaying a variety of wellness information from businesses, organizations and health professionals.
Numerous goodies were given away, but the highlight was beyond question the bicycle raffle.
Sue Pitts of Elevate Cycles lined the 25 bicycles in three rows according to size. Children waited anxiously to see if their names were going to be called. Once they were, Pitts helped the winners find their new wheels.
Children smiled as they posed for pictures with their new bikes. To complete the picture, each child was given a new bicycle helmet, donated by Cornell Cooperative Extension.
In the far corner of the gymnasium, Jean McDonnell of One Roof Holistic Health Center had several chairs set up to give five-minute demonstrations on Reiki to the willing.
“Reiki is a gentle touch that uses universal life force energy to bring balance and harmony to the body, mind and spirit,” McDonnell said. “The responses to the Reiki has been positive and the turnout for the Expo is amazing.”
The chairs were constantly full and a bowl was overflowing with entries for a drawing to win a free Reiki session.
Leslie Miller, president of Taylor’s Heroes, was speaking of the non-profit organization created in the memory of her son Taylor Miller. Taylor Miller was killed serving in Afghanistan, but his journey to lose weight to join the Army sparked the mission of the organization: to raise awareness of basic nutrition and help children become fit.
Taylor’s Heroes is a free fitness and nutrition program for children between 10 and 18 years old. The program partners with the Saratoga YMCA and offers a scholarship membership, a weekly workout taught by an instructor, a choice of two activities the child has always wanted to experience, and nutrition classes.
Presentations on a variety of topics, from yoga for children to behavioral optometry, occurred every 30 minutes. Miller gave a presentation on childhood nutrition and fitness.
“Many kids are so focused on their electronics today that it draws away from their physical activity,” she said. “It doesn’t need to be an organized activity. It can be running up and down the stairs cleaning the house. There are apps like MyFitnessPal that can monitor your activity and you can invite your friends in to watch your progress to get encouragement.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control’s website, in 2011 13 percent of children were obese, five percent said they had not eaten a fruit in the past week, and 14 percent did not participate in any activity, Miller said. The CDC recommends children get 60 minutes of physical activity per day, she said.
One attendee asked if the lack of fruits and vegetables in a diet could be due to cost.
“The cost of chips has gone up so much in the last few years,” Miller said. “The size has gotten smaller and the price has gotten larger, even though the bag is half full. If you are careful with your shopping the fruits and vegetables go much further for your dollar. A sprinkle of berries on the morning cereal will have more value nutritionally. Making healthy choices doesn’t have to be a huge step.”
Perrianne Rule was sitting with her 14-year old daughter at a table strewn with magazines filled with information on Type 1 diabetes. Rule’s daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes several years ago.
“I met a women that was diagnosed with Type 1 when she was 30,” Rule said. “Even though being diagnosed that late in life is rare, she proved that fact that no matter the age you can be diagnosed with Type 1.”
To raise awareness, Rule and her daughter participate in the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure, which will take place in Saratoga Springs on June 2 this year.
Milton Terrace South Elementary School’s student council had their own spin on fitness. The student council partnered with physical education teacher James Gula to build an obstacle course in the auxiliary gym. Children had the chance to jump on soft mats, roll on scooters, army crawl through tunnels and jump off hurdles. The kids couldn’t jump, scoot and crawl fast enough to make their way to the beginning for another turn.
Medical specialist Robin Solomon presented on the effects of loud music on the ears, starting from young children through adulthood. Musical instruments and unmonitored MP3 players can cause damage to the ears if the music is too loud, and the longer the ears are exposed to loud volumes the higher the likelihood of increased damage, she said.
“Musicians are in the risk of exposure,” Solomon said. “The ringing of ones ears is not a good sign. For what it costs for a sandwich and drink, high-fidelity earplugs can be purchased to protect the ears. The earplugs do not distort the sound, only reduce the volume the inner ear receives. The results of hearing loss is not seen until adulthood, but the damage begins in childhood.”
Overall, vendors seemed extremely happy with the turnout and the interest from the community, and parents and children alike found the activities and information to be both fun and educational.
The Ballston Spa Central School District’s Health and Wellness committee will be hosting a Health and Wellness Expo on March 2 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the High School cafeteria and gymnasium. There will be exhibits from each of the school BLTs and a variety of organizations and businesses who will provide information about fitness, healthy eating, bike helmet safety and related health and wellness topics.
Participating exhibitors will include Ballston Spa National Bank, Albany Medical Center, Hannaford Supermarkets, Saratoga Center for the Family, Reality Check, local massage therapists, Reiki practitioners, chiropractors, dentists, orthodontists, yoga instructors, as well as many other health and wellness practitioners.
Expo sponsor Elevate Cycles will be donating 25 refurbished youth bicycles to be raffled off throughout the day. The first 200 elementary and 200 secondary students completing a passport of visiting vendors will receive a goodie bag with related information and giveaways. In addition, many other items will be raffled off throughout the day, including gift cards to local businesses.
The Expo is free and open to all children, families and individuals residing in the Ballston Spa Central School District. Partial funding from the district’s current State Farm Insurance Company grant will be used to support this district-wide community event grounded in financial literacy, and health and wellness.
Participants are asked to please bring a non-perishable food item to donate to district partner Saratoga County EOC, who will be in attendance to provide information about the programs and services they provide to families and individuals throughout Saratoga County.
For information, please contact Courtney Lamport in the district’s Office of District Advancement at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 518-884-7195 ext. 1369.