Belleville East High School hosted its annual health fair for students during the school day on Friday, April 11.
Many organizations set up booths to spread information to ensure the safety of students. The Belleville East Health Club, ran by teacher Patrick Watkins, organizes the event.
"Over 75 to 100 hours of planning goes into contacting sponsors and exhibitors, setting up the gym, getting the incentives for the students, working with Mrs. (Tina) Rideout and the Art Department on printed material and signs, etc," Watkins said. "I attempt to cover all areas of wellness and safety. This ranges from nutrition to exercise to First Aid and safety."
The hours of planning paid off. Many students found the information useful.
Although some middle schools require it, many students are already out of practice with CPR. There was a booth to help them practice.
Also, the safety of wearing a seatbelt was stressed with the car crash simulator. Students with a signed permission slip had the opportunity to feel the impact of a crash while wearing their seatbelt.
Another booth informed students about health care careers at Southwestern Illinois College. At the booth, students were told what skills they would need to acquire while in high school as well as job descriptions for a multitude of careers in the field.
The Sleep Disorders Center was also on hand to inform students of healthy sleeping habits.
A different booth addressed some of the unhealthy habits many teens have. Cigarette use was one of them. A jar full of black jelly-like substance was used to show students how much tar is put into their lungs after one year of smoking.
"I don't smoke, but I have family members that do. This definitely makes me want to do everything in my power to make them stop," said junior Kady Nolte.
Many other booths had a variety of activities and information to offer. One of the favorites was the Shop 'n Save table because they offered fresh fruit.
"I think you will find that most students would say the booth which addressed a problem or concern they may be having in their life would be the most beneficial booth," Watkins said.
Upcoming events for the Belleville East Health Club include sponsoring the Belleville Bicentennial 5k and the St. Clair County Get Up and Go Activities. Checks were presented to these organizations at the recent health fair.