A healthy start to the year

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 3, 2011

By Baileigh Rebowe


LAPLACE – The St. John Association of Pastors and Ministers and the St. Charles Community Health Center hosted a Back to School/Community Health Fair at True Light Baptist Church in Garyville Saturday to prepare children for the upcoming school year.

More than 150 school bags filled with school supplies were given out to children.

Hot dogs, nachos, drinks, popcorn and door prizes were also passed out throughout the day.

The St. Charles Community Health Center conducted free health screenings and demonstrations inside the church.

The staff tested participants’ blood pressure, glucose level, measured their weight, showed them how to properly brush their teeth and discussed signs of ADHD.

The center had also a doctor on hand to answer medical questions and concerns.

Krisy McAdams, a recruiter for Court Appointed Special Advocates, painted faces in between screenings. She passed out brochures regarding the prevention of child neglect and child abuse.

The St. John the Baptist Fire Department attended the event as well, with a Fire Safety House on wheels in tow. Inside the “house,” children learned fire prevention and safety tips.

St. Charles Community Center Outreach Coordinator Julia Bodden said for the function being a first time event, she was surprised to see more than 250 people show up.

“It went extremely well,” said Bodden. “There was a lot going on and so much information provided by the St. Charles Community Health Center. I was happy to be apart of it.”

Brenda Nicholas, representative for True Light Baptist Church, said the event was definitely a success.

“The event was so good for this community. It was something we hadn’t done before, and it went fantastic.”

Bodden and Nicholas both said if funding is available, both would like to see the Back to School/Community Health Fair become an annual event.

Other groups that participated included: Alpha Daughters of Zion, Bayou Land Families Helping Families, Bubbles Disco Play, Department of Children & Family Services, Growing Up Fit Together, St. Anthony’s Outreach, St. John Sheriff’s Department, St. John Community Action, St. John Parish Library, Arc of St. Charles, Dental Information, Metropolitan Women & Children and Wal-Mart Vision Center.