Junior League of Annapolis Hosts Kids' Health Fair
Local families learned about healthy choices at the rec center.
Through a variety of programs and sponsored events, the Junior League of Annapolis (JLA) helps to improve the lives of local families. On Saturday, the JLA held the second annual Ship Shape Kids Health Fair with informational booths and activities for kids and parents.
Sue Danielson, co-chair of the JLA's education committee, said the idea behind the event held at the Roger W. "Pip" Moyer Community Recreation Center is to teach kids about good nutrition and a healthy family lifestyle.
“Our goal is to teach Anne Arundel County families about nutrition and activities to get their kids moving,” said Danielson said.
She added that the group also hoped to give local vendors the chance to market themselves so families are aware of the available resources. Participants in the event included Menchie's, Priority Partners, and Righttime Medical Care.
Danielson said she was very pleased with the turnout, saying about halfway through the event that they had “three times the amount of kids from last year and we’re not even done.”
It was good planning on the part of the JLA since youth basketball games started at 8:30 a.m. and new teams played each hour, making it convenient for parents to stop into the fair with their children before or after games.
Holly Arthur, 5, of Annapolis was one in a room full of kids who packed the rec center to learn about nutrition, try healthy snacks and get heart rates pumping.
Holly said her favorite part of the event was “hula hooping.”
For her mom, Carrie Arthur, the event was a way of supporting the community and teaching Holly about health and nutrition.
“We really need to work on healthy foods,” she said.
Alex Mickler, a member of the JLA education committee and a nurse practitioner working at a booth representing the Pediatric Group, said it’s crucial to start teaching the benefits of a healthy lifestyle at an early age.
“I think this [young age] is where you lay the foundation for making healthy choices,” she said.
Mickler added that it’s much harder to teach adults once they’ve already established unhealthy habits. The booth was offering health screenings and teaching children about their Body Mass Index (BMI).
Among the kids learning their BMI was Gregory Towler, 9, of Annapolis.
“It’s good because it’s gonna help him make some healthier choices,” said his mom, Kemi Towler.
Charlene Hawkins, who teaches Zumba at the YWCA, had a crowd of kids visiting her station to move to the music.
“It’s dancing and music that they know,” she said, adding that it’s a way for kids to exercise and not even realize it.
Kate Dovi, 5, tried out Zumba and enjoyed a trail mix, which she made herself at a booth run by members of the JLA.
“I just think it’s great to get [kids] moving more,” said her mom, Kelly Dovi, a JLA member.
For more information on local programs for families, see the website of the Junior League of Annapolis.