Dental hygienists Deb Mandy, left, and Karen Costello of Adirondack Dental in Ticonderoga discuss dental care during the St. Mary’s School wellness fair.
Bayleigh Clark took her time making her lunch selection during the St. Mary’s School Wellness Fair, wanting to make the healthy choice.
In the end, with the help of teacher Ellie Berube, Clark picked milk and vegetables.
“It’s all about giving kids healthy choices,” explained Berube, a physical education teacher and chairwoman of the Wellness Fair. “We want healthy, happy children.”
The fair capped Wellness Week at St. Mary’s School. Each day of the week emphasized a healthy lifestyle choice, leading up the main event — the Wellness Fair.
Open to the public as well as students, the Wellness fair featured about 20 health-related exhibits. Students and visitors learned about nutrition, drug awareness, pet care, dental health, physical therapy, hygiene, CPR and more.
Organizations attending the Wellness Fair were Moses Ludington Hospital, The Prevention Team, Ticonderoga Veterinary Clinic, Essex County Public Health, Ticonderoga Emergency Squad, DARE, Adirondack Dental, McDonald’s, Cornell Cooperative Extension and more.
“It’s a wonderful experience,” Berube said of the fair. “The kids have been looking forward to it. They’re very excited.”
St. Mary’s School has had a Wellness Week the past three years, but this was the first time for the Wellness Fair.
Sister Shirley Anne Brown, Diocese of Ogdensburg assistant superintendent of schools, said wellness education is an important part of the Catholic school kindergarten to eighth grade curriculum.
“We have a full program emphasizing the importance of making healthy decisions,” Brown said. “We want our children to become healthy adults.”
The St. Mary’s Wellness Fair was one of six held in the diocese with the support of the Fidelis Care.
Fidelis Care, the New York State Catholic Health Plan, awarded the Diocese of Ogdensburg a $25,000 grant to support its “Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies, Happy Kids” program.
Fidelis Care offers free or low-cost health insurance through New York State’s Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus and Medicaid Managed Care programs. Members are covered for regular checkups, preventive care, routine screenings, hospital and emergency care, eye exams, dental care and more. Fidelis Care also offers a variety of benefit options for seniors through Fidelis Medicare Advantage, Dual Advantage, Medicaid Advantage Plus, and Fidelis Care at Home programs, available in certain counties.
“Fidelis Care has always valued and understood the importance of a strong community presence and enduring partnerships with community organizations that share our healing ministry within the Diocese of Ogdensburg,” said Mark L. Lane, president and CEO. “We are pleased to support such worthwhile programs and services and know that they will benefit local residents within the diocese. This is the heart of our mission.”
Brown said the St. Mary’s Wellness Fair was a good example of the “Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies, Happy Kids” program at work.
“They’ve done a beautiful job,” Brown said of the Ti fair. “One of the important goals to is make children and families aware of the services available in a community. I think St. Mary’s has done that well.”