By Rachel Shirey
RIVERDALE — Sequoyah Middle School took the “Heart of the Matter” into their own hands at the school’s first-ever health fair.
Nearly 150 people had access to 28 healthcare providers Saturday and left, arms loaded, with giveaways like healthy food samples, body mass index (BMI) charts, fruit bags and more.
“I can tell you, while we had a good turn out, I was hoping for more,” said assistant principal Marie Hall. “So we will reflect on how this process went and see how we can make it even better the next year.”
Hall said the fair was sponsored by the school PTA and other parent academies after parents called for community-wide health services through an issued survey.
“One of the things we looked at in the pre-planning and in the surveys is what kind of services the community needs and wants,” Hall said. “And so as a result of those surveys and the brainstorming of some of the parents that were in the PTA and school council committees, we identified that as a need.”
Provided services ranged from hearing, dental, vision screenings, blood sugar checks, HIV testing, flu shots and workshops on healthy living.
Healthcare providers included The Clayton County Health Department, Help a Child Smile and DaVita Dialysis. One exhibitor even raffled off two Kindle Fires.
“Feedback from the participants was very positive — comments included, ‘Great event,’ ‘This was really needed,’ etc.,” Hall said. “Most participants heard about the health fair via phone messages from Principal Lonnie White; some said they were inform by friends.”
Hall said the school hopes to host more health fairs in the future, and they want to discuss ways to improve the next one.
In the meantime, she said she and other school administrators will consider feedback from the health care providers and participants when planning for the next fair.