By Lea Shores
Nursing students, education students and athletic trainers spent Wednesday in Oxford teaching K-12 students that being healthy is about more than not being sick.
The Oxford Health Fair, organized by Oxford district nurse Dixie Simpson, is a collaborative effort to teach students about all areas of health. The nursing department, athletic trainers and P.E. in the Elementary School class ran several booths. There were also booths ran by the Sumner County Drug & Alcohol Task Force, Abstinence Education from Wichita, mental health services, Oxford Police Department, senior services, dentists, chiropractors and Cowley and Hutchinson Community Colleges. This was the third year Oxford has had the health fair.
Simpson said “We want students to think about careers that otherwise they might not think of as health related. That’s why we have the fire department and EMS here.”
Elementary and junior high students attended the health fair in the morning and high school students in the afternoon. Laura Fobes, nursing senior, said, “We used most of the same booths we had at the Southwestern health fair. We had to censor out some, like the STDs booth, for the younger kids though.”
The first group of students learned about proper hygiene and dental care, the risks of drugs and alcohol, correct portion sizes, and how to choose healthy foods. Many of the booths featured games or other hands on activities for students.
Elementary students learned about fire safety and then held “stop, drop, and roll” relays to practice what they learned. They also watched a video about water safety from the American Red Cross.
Simpson said “The most popular booths are the taste testing of fruits and veggies, the drug paraphernalia booth and the booth to guess how much sugar is in different drinks.”
In the afternoon, high school students learned more detailed information about similar topics and they learned about careers in the healthcare field. Simpson said, “Former Oxford students came to talk to high school students about going into a healthcare career and what students need to do in high school to prepare. It’s one of the things we have added to the health fair this year.”
Rosalina Valdavinos, elementary education junior, was part of the P.E. in the Elementary School class. Valdavinos said “At first I was discouraged because I felt like many of the stations were the same. It was good the P.E. class went and had some more child-friendly booths.”
Valdavinos was part of a group that used glitter to show how quickly germs could spread from one person to another.
The health fair has been a success and Simpson sees it continuing to grow in the future. “We have gotten positive reports. We hope to get better and better every year,” said Simpson.