VMS health fair

Vernon Middle School’s Annual School Health Fair was held March 10. Nineteen presenters from surrounding counties lent their time, knowledge, and expertise to educate more than 350 middle school students on various subjects including fitness, health, nutrition, stress management, dangers and laws of underage drinking and driving, chronic disease sickle cell anemia, cancer prevention, cyberbullying prevention, domestic violence, tobacco dangers, child abuse reporting, human trafficking, HIV/AIDS prevention, sexually transmitted diseases, prenatal health, and the art/disciplines of taekwondo and karate.

The sixth grade presenters were: Judy Corbus from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, who spoke on healthy eating practices and types of health foods. IFAS develops knowledge in agricultural, human and natural resources and works to make knowledge accessible to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. Danielle Cappel from the American Cancer Society presented on cancer prevention, cancer detection, cancer basics, signs and symptoms, treatment and side effects and fact and statistics. ACS’s mission is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. Presenter Karen Hennessy, from the Sickle Cell Anemia Association presented on the disease process of Sickle Cell Anemia. The association is an organization that provides quality and comprehensive services through testing, evaluation, counseling and supportive services to individuals and families at risk for Sickle Cell Disease and it’s variants. Presenter Jason Smith from Trinity Martial Arts demonstrated mind/body/balance techniques to help with stress, mental and physical strength enhancements, and overall benefits of physical fitness. Presenter Dawn Veit held a spirited physical fitness class where students actively participated in learning yoga and dance to help with improved physical and mental well being.

The seventh grade presenters were: Mr. Ed Bell from the United States District Attorney’s Office and he spoke with students about the dangers of the internet, how to detect and avoid cyberbullying, consequences and legalities of cyberbullying, and how to protect yourself from online bullying. He spoke on different types of cyberbullying such as test messages, emails, rumors or posts on social networking site, embarrassing pictures, videos, website, or fake profiles. He taught about the laws, statistics, and prevention. Mr. Milton Brown and Ms. Kaylin Hardin from the Green Dot Program and Florida Department of Health presented on ways to reduce violence within any community. The Green Dot’s primary mission is the reduction of power-based personal violence and recognizing the inextricable link between effective prevention and effective intervention. Claudia Machado from MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving spoke on the dangers and consequences of underage drinking and driving. Their focus is to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes, and prevent underage drinking.

The 8th grade presenters were: Ms. Lori Allen from Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center and spoke on Human Trafficking and Sex Abuse. This organization is dedicated to protect and enhance the quality of life for victims of sexual violence and child abuse in our community by providing a trauma sensitive, specialized approach to assess, identify, treat and prevent sexual assault and child abuse through the coordination of community resources. Deneika Roulhac, from BASIC, spoke to students about HIV/AIDS Prevention. BASIC NWFL, Inc. is a volunteer governed community based organization dedicated to aiding, assisting, and comforting those living with HIV/AIDS, their families and friends. They provide discrete and compassionate assistance without passing judgement. BASIC also provides awareness, education, advocacy and prevention, testing and substance abuse/HIV education to the citizens of Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, and Washington counties. Stephanie Yongue, also from BASIC, Panama City, spokes to students about Abstinence and Faithfulness along with STD prevention. Melissa Reddick from Chipola Healthy Start talked about prenatal health. This organization works closely with mothers, families, and the community to make sure every child thrives.