This year’s Children’s Health Expo was held on August 24th at Hempstead Hall, hosted by the Hempstead County Wellness Alliance. There were many fun and educational activities for both children and their parents to participate. Things like: a smoothie bike, Germ City-Handwashing Stimulation, an ambulance tour, petting an alligator, an obstacle course, and Yoga. LifeShare Blood Mobile was also present hosting a blood drive taking donations.
Sylvia Brown, Central AR Development Council, talked with us about what her organization would be providing for the Health Expo. “CADC is partnering with FACT, Inc. Head Start to conduct an obstacle course for children. The goals are to engage the students and their adults on the importance of team work and healthy and fun activities. The obstacle course is borrowed from the PRIDE Academy, an annual youth program sponsored by the Texarkana Police Department and Arkansas Department of Health. The agency will also highlight the expansion of our rural transit program to Hope. The program is operated by South Central Arkansas Transit, or SCAT. At this time, SCAT transit is limited to Hope, M-F 10a-2p. The fare is $3/person, one-way. The fare is a competitive price. The SCAT option provides affordable public transportation service to our community. The SCAT service helps residents who can’t afford vehicles or may be low on gas money to take them to places they needed to go. People can schedule a SCAT ride in advance or call the day of to go to Wal-Mart, the drug store or to a friend’s house. The offering is curb-to-curb, friendly, clean service.”
There were many items given away and even some cool science prizes as well. Smiles of Arkansas provided cinch backpacks, Red River Federal Credit Union popped fresh popcorn, Tyson Food supplied water, Hope Public Schools donated both healthy snacks and water for vendors, and Bancorp South was happy to contribute CADC transportation.
We also spoke with Lori Arnette, UAHT-Hope Nursing Program, and she shared with us that there were 17 nursing students total involved with the obstacle course, Yoga with Kids, 1st Aid for Kids, Germ City, the Smoothie Bike, and BMI screenings. Arnette told us “We were honored to serve our community through this event and look forward to providing education to the children of Hempstead County and surrounding areas in a fun and interactive way! UAHT Practical Nurse Program encourages students to volunteer throughout the program, as we view community service as an important role of the student and nurse.”
A new addition this year, the Hope Rotary Club and Hempstead Hall sponsored a free movie, Detective Pikachu, for event participants and the vendors. Event vendors were given up to four free movie tickets to show their thanks for participating in the event. If any participant visited and engaged all booths at the expo, they received a free movie ticket.
Overall the 2019 Health Expo was a great success for vendors, volunteers, children, and parents. “Through the collaboration of the Planning Team this event has been hosted at no cost to the coalition for the past two years, and for 2019 this trend continued to hold true,” said Sarah Powell, Rural Health Specialist.