Superintendent’s conference days are typically held for the purpose of staff development — so that teachers can learn different ways to run their classrooms.
In the Liverpool Central School District, staffers got the chance for development outside the classroom.
The district hosted its first-ever Health and Wellness Fair, put together by the district’s 15 building nurses, on Friday Feb. 8 at Liverpool High School. The event was intended to provide teachers and staff with health information and featured some 30 vendors from across Central New York, including Weight Watchers, Ophelia’s Place, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, University Hospital and the Onondaga County Department of Health.
The event also featured a raffle. A number of gift baskets were raffled off, and the proceeds benefited food pantries in the district at Elmcrest, Long Branch, Nate Perry, Wetzel Road and Willow Field elementary schools.
The initiative for the event came from the health professionals in each school, according to Becky Launt, nurse at Long Branch Elementary School.
“It really is all coordinated and spearheaded by the nursing staff,” Launt said.
Launt and Liverpool Middle School nurse Micki Bliss headed up the effort, which Bliss said started out as a suggestion from one of the nurses.
“It’s just a suggestion we had come up with,” Bliss said. “It kind of snowballed from there — the superintendent heard about it and cleared it with the director of schools. Then the calls started pouring in from people who wanted to participate, and here we are.”
Launt said the fair sought to provide answers to staffers with questions about elderly parents, kids aging out of insurance coverage and more.
“There’s a great deal of information here for those who want to keep themselves healthy,” she said. “There’s also a great deal of information for those who have questions about health problems for themselves or their family members.”
Both Launt and Bliss said that, while they considered the event a success, they do plan to add some more features next time.
“Emergency medical services had expressed an interest in participating in the future,” Launt said. “There are a lot of people we’d like to include next time.”
“It was just for staffers this year, but we’d like to involve the community in the future,” Bliss said. “This was the first health fair, but we certainly hope it won’t be the last.”
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.