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Never too early to learn


Cortney Ofstad/Daily Globe

MALINDA PETERSON, left, and Pamela Niemi, right, speak to students on behalf of Domestic Violence Escape, of Ironwood, on Friday at the annual Health Fair at the Hurley K-12 School.

HURLEY — Elementary students at the Hurley K-12 School learned about improving their overall health during the annual Health Fair on Friday.

According to Iron County health officer Zona Wick, the event “went well,” with students learning about staying active, eating right and other healthy choices.

Representatives from the Wisconsin Dairy Council, Iron County Health Department, North Country Independent Living, Domestic Violence Escape, the office of Dr. Paul Hagemann, DDS, Aspirus Grand View Hospital and Iron County University of Wisconsin-Extension spoke to students on a variety of topics.

DOVE representatives Malinda Peterson, Wisconsin case manager, and Pamela Niemi, Michigan children’s advocate, told the students it’s OK to be afraid, using examples from the Disney/Pixar film “Monster’s Inc.”

“We wanted to engage students to have an open discussion about being afraid,” Peterson said. “While kids have fears of the monster under their bed or the dark, we tried to tie fears in with what we deal with in relation to sexual and domestic violence. Kids can be scared by people yelling or violence, so we talk to them about how they handle it, and what they should do.”

Students also participated in activities like jumping rope and mini golf to help them stay active. They also learned about eating healthy, and finding nutrients in unexpected places.

“My segment was called ‘Go Lean with Protein,’ and it’s about eating things like beans to get extra protein in their diets,” said Deb Leonard, Wisconsin Nutrition Program educator for UW-Extension. “Protein helps build muscle, so I helped kids identify different types of beans, and then we did a relay race by kids placing beans in their ‘muscles’ (elbows) and dropping them into a bucket. It was really fun.”

According to Wick, the students enjoyed the experience.

“They were so polite and were engaged in learning more about health,” Wick said. “It was a really great event.”

Development Days

During the event, local residents participated in the annual Birth to 3 Development Days. Health professionals tested children up to age 5 to see if they have achieved the correct milestones for their age level.

“They looked to see if a child’s gross, fine and cognitive skills were on track for their age divisions,” Wick said.

To learn more about the Health Fair or Development Days, call the health department at 715-561-2191.


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