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Residents Enjoy Fun, Educational Health Fair

Parents and children enjoyed music,Dr. B-C exercise, free produce and much more at the Mount Vernon City School District’s “Spring into Wellness” Health Fair today, May 14, 2022.

A popular stop was the TumbleBus, a school bus fitted out with a trampoline, climbing wall, cargo net, slide and more.

“It’s a hundred percent fun!” said Maya Jones, a Holmes third grader.

The aim of the fair, held at the William H. Holmes School next to the district offices was to encourage not only physical health, but mental health and a sense of community, said parent liaison Sandra O’Connor. She and colleague Rita James spearheaded the organization of the fair with the parent liaison team.

“It’s great to see everybody out together,” O’Connor said.

RiceThe fair brought together community and non-profit organizations, including the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau and the district early-childhood program Mount Vernon Basics. Representatives volunteered their time to help raise awareness of services available.

Children sang along with musician Kurt Gallagher, and played drums and maracas he handed out. They got moving with Zumba lessons, and picked up free books from Mount Vernon Basics. Activities included story time and a magic show.

For Adaya Grant, a Holmes first grader, enjoyed more than just the activities and the free piece of candy at a wheel of fortune. The volunteers and district employees running everything also made things enjoyable.

“They’re really nice, too,” she said.

Agatha House Foundation, a Bronx-based organization that fights hunger, brought a farmstand worth of fresh produce – kale, butternut squash, collard greens, yams and more – which was handed out free.

“We promote healthy eating, that’s why I only brought things that are healthy,” said Jeannette Joseph, president and founder of Agatha House Foundation. To appreciate healthy eating, Joseph said, “You have to be exposed to it.”

Interim Superintendent Dr. Waveline Bennett-Conroy said the fair fit the district’s focus on social and emotional learning. She said wellness will be a theme of the coming year.

“We want to emphasize this by holding outdoor activities such as what we have today,” she said.

Board of Education President Adriane Saunders encouraged attendees to go for face-painting, exercise and more. “We have so many activities going on! Thank you for coming.”

Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard encouraged attendees; “Go around and have a really great time! Enjoy yourselves.”

Board of Education member Candice Sorensen said; “To our beautiful, wonderful children, you guys are lovely! Thank you for coming and enjoying yourselves! Families, let’s keep on being healthy, let’s keep walking and exercising.”