Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

ICHD aims to promote health at Hurley School

HURLEY - Besides cleaning out the desk and helping the teacher tidy up the stacks of books, what better thing to do on the last day of school than learn about healthy things to do this summer?

At least that's how Zona Wick, of the Iron County Health Department, saw it as she marshaled the ICHD's annual health fair at the Hurley School on a sunny Tuesday morning.

"Goal of the day was to promote health," Wick said. "We're trying to instill good, healthy habits in these kids, so they realize good, healthy eating and exercise is a part of normal life."

Elementary students spread out in groups of 20 or so to five stations around the track and participated in short programs led by the Hurley Police Department, the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Aspirus Grand View Hospital, DOVE and the ICHD.

The groups rotated around the track, working through each program, learning about the importance of keeping active, eating right and being safe.

Hurley police officer Kyle Mabie quizzed the kids about safety.

"We talked with them about the different summer activities and what they need to do to stay safe," Mabie said.

He talked about the importance of wearing a life jacket when boating or around water, applying sunscreen when outside, not talking to strangers and wearing a helmet when riding a bike.

Wick said the annual health fair acts as a reminder for some, as the students recently had a program on bike safety and the UW-Extension officials talked to the students about healthy eating earlier in the year.

"We're reinforcing some things. We're instilling those ideas, too, for the summer," Wick said. "We're getting them off to summer in a healthy way."

The annual event is usually in April and inside, but the school had a snow day April 4, so it was pushed all the way to Tuesday.

"It is a beautiful day. I said to (elementary principal) Kevin Genisot, I'm tempted to keep doing it on the last day of school, but we have to guarantee a beautiful, sunny, wonderful day," Wick said. "Having the kids out on the track, getting this wonderful fresh air and exercise, is all about what the health department is promoting and what we want to see these kids doing. This is perfect."

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