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Health and Wellness Fair

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Overview

Hosting a health and wellness fair at school is a great way to share information with students, staff, families and the community about healthy eating, physical activity, health services, and other local health and wellness resources. Plus, it’s an opportunity to build relationships with local businesses and community organizations, who may be able to provide ongoing support to your school health initiatives.

Take Action

Before the fair, consider the following logistics:

  • Will your fair have a theme such as Every Kid Healthy, Heart Health, Eating Better and Moving More, etc.? Gather feedback from students, staff and families to determine the theme.
  • Set goals. How many community partners would you like to attend? How many students? How many family members?
  • Develop a timeline. Determine when you would like to host the health and wellness fair and work backward. Start to plan at least 2 months prior to the event. Be sure to identify a day/time that is convenient for families
  • Determine your budget. What funds, if any, are available to purchase food and incentives? Ask community organizations for donations and sponsorships.
  • Plan set-up and event day logistics including tables/chairs/electrical, the floor plan, wireless/internet needs, etc. Communicate what equipment will be available for partners and vendors.
  • Reach out to partners that align with your theme or health and wellness topics with phone calls, emails, letters and/or in-person visits. Clearly communicate the benefits of them participating to secure their buy-in and support, and give them adequate notice.
  • Identify how many volunteers you need and recruit them!
  • Promote the event though backpack and posted flyers, daily school announcements, the school newsletter, website and social media, all-calls etc. Ramp up promotion efforts two weeks prior to the event.
  • Provide a mix of activities such as information booths, health screenings, hands-on activities and games, taste tests and physical activity demonstrations. The school cafeteria or another open space can serve as a healthy taste testing station. Get the school nutrition services staff involved by asking them to prepare samples for both parents and kids.

Tips

Encourage faculty and staff to attend the fair. It’s an opportunity to show support for the school and demonstrate a commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

Promote, promote, promote! Consider all possible communicate avenues.

Engage students as wellness ambassadors who can support the fair by going classroom to classroom the week prior to encourage attendance and welcoming people when they arrive.

Offer raffles, prizes or incentives to encourage students and parents to attend and participate during the fair.

Encourage participants to attend all booths through a scavenger hunt (where participants ask organizations questions) or “passport” (where organizations provide stickers to participants who visit their booth).

Depending on available funding, consider turning the health fair into a healthy carnival event with possible games and events may include inflatable rides, parachute launch, petting zoo, fish pond, corn hole, pony rides, target throws, water balloon toss, tug-of-war, obstacle course, sack races, face painting, relay races, fitness demonstrations, basketball knockout competitions, bike driving course, etc.

Be flexible. Most likely, changes will occur last minute. Understand that changes will happen, so be proactive to anticipate changes.

Give thanks: After the health fair, send a personalized thank you note to the volunteers, organizations and staff members who supported the event. It can be a lot of work to put on a successful health fair, so this is key to expressing gratitude and sustaining their support in future years.