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Saranac Elementary School's PBIS Sponsors Community Health

SARANAC Parked cars overflowed from the Saranac Elementary School parking lot, reaching all the way out to Route 3 on the evening of March 22. Lively chatter and laughter filled the halls, gymnasium, and cafeteria from 5:30 to 7:30 as families enjoyed an evening of fun and learning at the Community Health Fair. The health fair was sponsored by Saranac Elementary Schools PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports). The PBIS team was established in February 2006 and is coached by school counselor, Mary LoTemplio, and school psychologist, Christyan Denial. The team is also composed of school psychologist Deena Lewis-Mulders, elementary teacher Janice Carter, special education teacher Linda Richardson, special areas teacher Mark Burrel, Principal Marguerite Tamer, and parents Bobbi Terry, Deb Yokum and Colleen Staley. PBIS collects data to determine target behaviors and develops and implements processes at three levels of intervention to encourage these positive target behaviors. One early aspect of the PBIS process, Mary LoTemplio explained, is to reach out to families, involving them in the process, and making them feel welcome in their childrens school. The Health Fair is a way that we can invite families into the school, reach out to them and support them. Community organizations were contacted and asked to participate, and area businesses were asked for donations. PBIS received all affirmative responses. Wal-Mart and Dicks Sporting Goods contributed door prizes. Hannaford generously supplied enough healthy snacks to feed all the fair-goers, and volunteer presenters filled the gym and some classrooms and areas of the hallways. Even the parking lot had presenters with tours of the Dannemora ambulance and the Community Link Rv offering screenings for blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. In the gym, Cadyville, Dannemora, and Saranac Fire Departments were present with several educational hands-on tables. The Clinton County Health Department provided four educational tables on low fat milk, hand washing, emergency preparedness and diabetes. The Sheriffs Department offered digital child identification, while CVPH promoted the Safe Kids Program. The National Alliance for Mental Health had a table, as did Child Health Plus, Cooperative Extension Dietician Jenna Jones, and Mark Thomsons Office, D.D.S., P. C. There was a table with parenting tips and a parent resource library and Mrs. Coutures class provided active learning with the Eggsbert Jeopardy Nutrition Game. Children eagerly watched a graphic demonstration of the effects of smoking on the lungs given by Joan Brown at the American Cancer Society table in order to receive a hacky sack. Joan used two real pig lungs. The healthy pink lung filled up like a balloon when air was pumped into it, while the sickly gray lung that had been exposed to cigarette smoke pathetically struggled to fill only a quarter of the way. Mrs. Stadnicki promoted listening and language skills through stories and activities in the library. Each child received a book donated by PBS. There were interactive computer games in one room with a dog bite prevention presentation using certified therapy dogs just outside in the hallway. Fair goers of all ages could enjoy exercising in Mr. Burrells Exercise Challenge or in Mrs. Carters dance challenge which was made especially inviting with a darkened room and flashing colored lights. Many adults visited the activity room where they took part in the blood drive. Students proudly showed their family members their health and nutrition displays in one wing of the hallway. Eventually, most families took time out to enjoy the healthy snacks in the cafeteria. Thanks to the support of many teachers, other school personnel, students, parents, community organizations and businesses, the Saranac PBIS Community Health Fair was a huge success.

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