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Back to School Health Fair helps ready hundred of Pahrump area students

Updated July 27, 2019 - 7:05 am

summer vacation is quickly drawing to a close and students all across the valley will soon head back to the classroom to immerse themselves in the world of academics.

Of course, in order to succeed in their educational pursuits, students must be fully prepared, both physically and materially. To help make certain this is the case for the 2019-2020 school year, the Back to School Health Fair was held once again, with hundreds of area students and their families turning out for an event that offered an array of free medical services and school supplies, along with some food and fun as well.

Held on Saturday, July 20, the 2019 Back to School Health Fair was a collaboration between the NyE Communities Coalition, Nye County School District and Immunize Nevada. The health fair kicked off at 8 a.m. that morning, welcoming a long line of eager attendees who filed inside the new venue to partake of all that was available.

The new location for this well-known annual event, Pathways Innovative Education, was the biggest change this year and while that created some challenges in terms of organizing, event officials said overall, the new venue was well-received and provided a good fit for the fair.

“I think this was a very successful year, especially with a new location involved,” Back to School Health Fair Committee Chair Devon Couch, an AmeriCorps Vista Leader with the NyE Communities Coalition, said. “The day was exciting and fun with so many students, families and community members coming together to get ready for the new school year. I hope students left the event knowing that the community supports them and wants to contribute to their success in education.”

Couch said the event committee felt the new location had been a success and they were pleased to hear that others also thought the campus worked for the event. “The draw of an indoor venue, air conditioning and being out of the sun was a huge part of that,” Couch detailed. “Like all first-time locations, we have a few kinks to work out for next year but we’re incredibly grateful to the Nye County School District for allowing us to use Pathways for the fair. We worked extra hard to make sure we left the campus in excellent condition and we hope the school district will have us again.”

Nye County School District Superintendent Dale Norton agreed with the assessment, telling the Pahrump Valley Times, “The Back to School Fair was well attended again this year. The fair, held at the Pathways facility for the first time this year, was a success. We are taking feedback and will make some adjustments to make next year’s event even bigger and better for the students and parents of Nye County.”

Norton said he felt great thought and innovation went into the planning and collaboration of the event and offered his thanks to the NyE Community Coalition, all of the volunteers, Nye County School District staff, community organizations, students, parents and community members.

Couch reported that a total of 889 attendees made their way through the health fair last Saturday, of which 388 were elementary school students, 110 were set to head to middle school and 100 were high schoolers.

Throughout the event, a total of 35 patients received vaccinations, Couch informed, adding, “This year, the state, Nye County, Immunize Nevada and Rural Clinics really made immunizations happen for us.”

Reflections Healthcare and Spring Mountain Medical performed 32 sports physicals for students planning to take part in athletics, while 23 dental and vision screenings were conducted by dental professional Dr. Dawn Green and Nevada Eye Physicians.

In addition to medical screening providers, dozens of other entities joined in the health fair to hand out school supplies to the hundreds of students who came through.

“Overall, we had 36 vendors which included Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue, the Pahrump Valley Rotary Club who donated hot dogs, the Ms. Senior Golden Years Queen’s Court and DJ Walt Turner, as well as face painting, a DUI simulator and the many business, agencies and organizations who distributed thousands of schools supplies,” Couch said, noting that the vendors were also able to hand out valuable information about their services and programs at the same time.

“The Nye County School District was also there with information about services for students and families, as well as school registration and the SAFE Elementary before and after school program was at the fair with school supplies and computers so parents could register their students for the program,” Couch continued.

Many others helped make the Back to School Health Fair a success too, with Couch highlighting cash donations from Seventh Day Adventist Church, American First National Bank and an anonymous donor, along with cash and in-kind donations from Desert View Hospital. Backpack donations also came from Desert Radiology, MedSmart, Salvation Army, Pahrump Moose Lodge #808 and a grant through the NyE Communities Coalition.

“This event would not be the success it is each year without all of the help and support it receives,” Couch concluded. “The time the planning committee provides, the resources that vendors bring, the medical provisions from providers, the generosity of donors, and the volunteers who serve by handing out backpacks to sweeping the floors when it’s over, all contribute to the success of the health fair.”

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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