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East Grand’s wellness fair educates, entertains

DANFORTH, Maine — Health and wellness took center stage as East Grand School hosted a Health, Wellness, and Safety Fair on April 26. 

A Maine Game Warden stands with his dog as students prepare to enter the East Grand School gymnasium. (Courtesy of Michael LaReux)

Local businesses and first responders gathered in East Grand’s gym to educate community members about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Representatives from the Danforth Fire Department, along with officers from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, participated in community outreach, answering questions and getting to know members of the community.

The fair was organized by the Maine Family Resource Center (MFRC), which is responsible for East Grand’s 21st Century Community Learning Center After School Program. Susan Shain, the coordinator of the After School Program, worked in tandem with MFRC administrators to invite a wide variety of presenters from around the area. Their efforts paid off as local experts in massage therapy, reflexology, hydroponic gardening, and other disciplines donated their time and expertise for the benefit of those attending.

Attendees learned first-hand about the benefits of massage therapy as a certified massage therapist was on hand to demonstrate. Other lucky guests had the opportunity to sample an assortment of skin-care products.

A fully functional hydroponic garden drew in onlookers and illustrated the importance of good nutrition in a healthy lifestyle. CORE, the Citizens Organization for Rural Education, displayed maps of area trails and encouraged everyone to incorporate outdoor activities into their daily lives.

A local Reflexology practitioner used a model of a human foot to educate attendees about how they could benefit from hand and foot massages. Students from East Grand’s Dream Team demonstrated how virtual reality can be used to better understand human anatomy through the SureCare application.

Though the fair was well attended, there were enough presenters to allow people to take their time and ask questions.  The highlight for many was the appearance of Smokey the Bear, who distributed hugs and high-fives, reminding everyone to use fire responsibly.

The fair was organized to serve three distinct purposes. It was intended to bring the community together, to inform the community about health related issues and priorities, and to provide students a safe, positive environment to interact with adults outside of a classroom setting.

The fair underscores East Grand’s commitment to creating a bond between the school and the community it serves. The Maine Family Resource Center, and other programs like it, provide opportunities for lifelong learning for students and community members alike.

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