Free health screenings kick off summer

First-ever Success By 6 event filled with food, fun and prizes

Michelle Stuckey
June 11, 2010 at 8:58 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

The United Way of St. Charles and the St. Charles Community Health Center are teaming up this weekend to host a summer kick-off event for the Success By 6 program.

The event will take place on June 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Community Health Center. It is aimed at families with children ages birth to five years old, but all parish families are welcome.

The kick-off will feature everything that kids need to be healthy and ready to start school in the fall.

“The focus of Success By 6 is that children are prepared emotionally and educationally by the time they enter first grade. One part of that is health,” said Kacy Kernan, director of community impact for the United Way of St. Charles.

This is the first year that a kick-off event has been done for the Success By 6 program and Kernan said it was inspired by a school supply drive that the health center did last year.

“One of our challenges has been reaching parents who are less involved because of work schedules or other stresses in life,” Kernan said. “Last year the Community Health Center did a school supply drive…I was so impressed. Hundreds of parents came out.

“Using that as an example, we thought this event for the younger kids would draw parents.”

The event will include health and vision screenings for the kids, door prizes that include a laptop and a stroller/car seat travel system, free food, exercise classes for kids, cooking demonstrations and face painting. A complete range of childhood immunizations will be available free of charge.
Parent workshops on topics ranging from ADHD to reading nutritional labels will also be taught.

Local author Oletha Broussard will do a book reading during the event and talk to parents about using books as a way to teach children.

Kernan said there will also be a doctor on site to answer any questions that parents may have.

“If a parent has a question for the doctor, they will be able to ask the doctor right then instead of having to pay to see a doctor,” Kernan said.

The health center will be hosting a Teddy Bear Clinic at the event. Healthcare professionals will show the children how to listen to a heartbeat or bandage a wound using stuffed animals.

“It makes it so that healthcare isn't so frightening for the kids,” said Trista Brazan, the United Way’s campaign and communications manager. “This is a really fun, community-oriented way to get parents and children together and provide them both services that not only help children prepare for school and be successful, but also teach parents skills they need to support their children in education and in their lives.”

View other articles written Michelle Stuckey

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