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Students learn about healthy living at fair

Photo by Ricki Barker

Photo by Ricki Barker

ALBANY, Ga. -- Although some of the students weren't too interested in trying more healthy eating options, many expressed that they enjoyed learning how to prolong their lives at a health fair put on Thursday afternoon by biology students at Albany High school.

Besides healthy foods, students went to stations that offered instruction from classmates on CPR and abdominal thrusts. They were also able to get health checks such as a fitness assessment, vision test, blood pressure reading and finding out their height and weight. Students needed to visit each station and receive signatures of their classmates running the station to earn full class credit.

Earlier in the week, students gave PowerPoint presentations to different classes on the dangers of texting and driving, marijuana use, teen alcohol abuse, pregnancy, unprotected sex and the consequences of dropping out of high school.

"We wanted our students to be health conscious because they're not health conscious," said biology teacher Amanda Holmes, who helped coordinate the event. "They actually got a lot of discussion. They'd ask who drinks alcohol and who's thinking about dropping out of high school. It was real peer intervention and a lot of positives going on in the classroom because they were teaching them."

Freshmen Zric Bradley and Jaime Belk participated in the CPR station and learned about proper technique from Ashley Cole and Angel Harrison. The station also taught students the Heimlich Maneuver, which is now called abdominal thrust.

"CPR can be really fun if you can save someone's life with it," said Zric, who's on the school's drumline.

Jaime said she enjoyed the health fair and found it informative.

"I learned CPR, abdominal thrust and that I'm not color blind," said Jaime, an auxiliary captain of the danceline. "I'm having fun learning about different kinds of health stuff."

Jackie Childress, who also helped Cole and Harrison at the CPR station, said students were eager to learn the life-saving techniques.

"They've been very interested in wanting to learn how to save people's lives using CPR and abdominal thrust maneuvers," said the drum major.

Sophomore Perri Smith and junior Troy Barrett worked at the health food station. Students were able to learn that some fast-food choices were better than others. They used pictures of a Big Mac and Whopper, as well as pictures of an iced latte and a Frappuccino, and asked which ones were better for them. Barrett said the students learned that a Big Mac was a better choice than a Whopper and an iced latte was better than a Frappuccino.

However, both Perri and Troy were disappointed in how few students were open to trying healthier snack options.

"You don't know how hard it is to get people try stuff," Perri said. "They'd just walk over here and say, 'What is that?' 'It's sweet potato and it's good.' And they'd say, 'Just sign my card.' I'd say, 'Try something like this whole wheat graham cracker.' The only thing they were familiar with was the (dried) cranberries and they didn't even want to try that. I'll try anything new and if I don't like it just spit it out."