Mississippi State Day One students hosted a health fair at Henderson Intermediate School Wednesday.
Day One is a leadership program on campus designed specifically for freshman to integrate them through service to the community in their new town.
For the last semester, Day One freshman have been regular fixtures in the fifth grade classrooms serving as tutors and teacher helpers.
“Their presence in our school has done two things,” Henderson Principal Timothy Bourne said. “Number one, it has helped with assisting those kids with their education, and secondly, those (Day One) students are positive influences and role models for our kids.”
“It’s taught us a lot about leadership and helping others,” Day One student Emily Clark said.
“It’s also been a really good way to give back,” fellow Day Oner Anna Trundle added.
As the semester is nearing an end, the Day One students wanted to find a special way to end the year. They first conducted a fun art project where they bought ceiling tiles and allowed the fifth graders to decorate them.
The fun, decorated tiles replaced the boring white tiles in the art room and serve as a reminder to the students of their time with the Day One students.
But even with the art project, the Day One students wanted to do more.
“(School counselor) Mrs. Gardner gave us the idea to do a health fair," Day One leader Lauren Bruce said. “We’re hoping the students can learn about physical activity and healthy eating to live a healthy lifestyle.”
So the Day One students started asking organizations around campus to help them put together the health fair. The MSU Extension Service, Dept. of Recreational Sports, campus Police Department and the Starkville Fire Department all volunteered to man booths for the fair.
The Dept. of Recreational Sports volunteer taught the children easy and fun exercises they can do with just a resistance band.
The Extension Service talked with the children about eating healthy and avoiding foods with too much fat and sodium.
The police department offered tips and advice to keep students and their belongings safe. The fire department talked with the children about the importance of a family escape plan, and what to do in the event of a fire.
And finally, a few Day One students manned the hula hoop station where they taught the children that hula hoop can be a fun way to get their exercise.
“This experience has made me think I might want to be a teacher one day,” Clark said. “It’s been a really touching experience. One student I’ve worked with, her grades have really improved, which has made me really proud.”
School Counselor Asylee Gardner said that Clark’s experience with her student is not uncommon. In fact, of all the children who have worked one-on-one with a tutor, all have improved their graders by at least a few percentage points.