Nazareth Academy hosts health fair
Cheers of encouragement erupted from the group of eighth-grade students as the first students in their class stretched their arms and legs to scale a rock wall parked in the playground of Nazareth Academy on April 11.
The school's second annual Jet to Good Health Fair featured the wall, obstacle courses and other activities and presentations to the school in an effort to make the students healthier.
Sarita Villafranca-Richmond, mission advancement director at the school, said the fair is about the students "realizing that it's fun to exercise, and it's fun to have a healthy lifestyle."
Competitions began at the wall as students climbed the pegs higher and higher. A group of boys yelled out their goals to ring the buzzer at the very top of the wall when their turn came.
"As they push each other, it's positive peer pressure for them to be healthy," Villafranca-Richmond said.
Not to be outdone by the students, several of the adults, including Villafranca-Richmond and even Sister Mary Jean Bludau, who changed out of her habit for the occasion, took a turn at scaling the rock.
"If we don't model healthy behavior, the kids aren't going to do this," Villafranca-Richmond said.
Along with physical activities such as Zumba and yoga classes, students also attended presentations about nutrition and first aid.
Villafranca-Richmond said her ultimate goal is for students to continue to make healthy choices long after the fair has ended.
"I think they learned a lot and had a lot of fun," she said. "I'm hoping that they take that back home."