SHAC hopes fair will encourage healthy living

LF logo final 1By SHELLY WILKISON

The Liberty Hill ISD, local businesses and non-profit organizations are working together to promote a healthy lifestyle and are hoping that a jointly-sponsored health fair in October will set a new standard for the community.

The Liberty Fit Health, Wellness and Safety Fair will be from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at Liberty Hill High School.

Sponsored by Liberty Hill School Health Advisory Council (SHAC), the event will feature booths by health-related vendors, activities for children and families, special guest speakers, and performances by cheerleaders, the Liberty Belles, and local martial arts and gymnastics students.

“We know our kids are active,” said LHISD Curriculum Director Claudeane Braun, “but we are trying to reach the whole population. What’s good for students is good for parents and the entire community.”

Mrs. Braun, who as director of SHAC is serving as coordinator of the event, said the idea for a community health fair came about in December 2013 during a SHAC meeting. She said Physical Education teachers and community members were looking to promote good health habits, but SHAC had no funding for community outreach.

“We want this to be the happiest, healthiest town in Texas,” said Mrs. Braun. She said the goal was suggested by Farmers Insurance Agent John Clark, chair-elect for SHAC.

To be the healthiest town in Texas does not seem that far out of reach for SHAC members, who hope that visitors to the health fair will come away with new ideas for nutrition, healthy living and regular exercise.

“We know that healthy children learn better,” said LHISD Special Programs Coordinator Sherry Hall. “They can’t learn when they are hungry, tired or not feeling well. We want to show them (families) how to incorporate healthy choices into their daily lives.”

One feature of the event will be a healthy foods concession stand.

Mrs. Braun said she is hoping that the success of the concessions will carry over into other school-sponsored concession stands.

“It’s all about making the right choices,” Mrs. Braun said.

“We can teach the children to make good choices, but the adults in their families are the role models,” she said. “They need to see it (good health habits) at home.”

Mrs. Braun said SHAC is seeking vendors now for the health fair. A fee of $50 is required along with a door prize donation valued at $25 or more. Vendor registration forms are available at the school administration building, 14001 W. SH 29, or online at www.libertyhill.txed.net. The deadline to apply for a vendor booth is quickly approaching — August 7. Those accepted will be notified by Sept. 5.

She said the types of vendors being encouraged to participate include hospitals andclinics, dance instructors, personal trainers, martial arts and sports, insurance agencies, non-profit organizations, organic products, doctors and physicians, chefs and nutritionists, eco-friendly producs, holistic remedies, extracurriular programs, fitness insrtors, cousnselors and coaches, gyms and fitness programs, safety programs, dentists and yoga instructors.

“We hope this will generate some revenue to promote fitness and nutrition in the community,” Mrs. Braun said.

With an early donation from the Liberty Hill Chamber of Commerce, SHAC was able to purchase Spirit Sticks as incentives or awards for elementary-age students who completed food journals in spring 2014 and those who made healthy food choices in school cafeterias.

Mrs. Braun said additional funds may also be used for incentives to promote staff wellness.

She said already all campuses offer yoga classes for employees, and some have Biggest Loser contests for those employees trying to lose weight. Still others have walking clubs.

SHAC is a state-mandated advisory committee made up of parent volunteers who are appointed by the Board of Trustees. The panel is intended to be a community group that advises school district decision-makers on health and safety related issues. Teachers assigned to PE and health classes, as well as school counselors, serve as ex-officio members.