August 7, 2016

The Health Hustle

By Jamee Little & Kera Williams, Chandler Elementary & Marion Elementary, Allen ISD

We believe that families are striving to make healthy changes. The Health Hustle is a large-scale health and wellness expo that was created to introduce our students and families to resources available in and around their community; and provide comprehensive health and wellness opportunities for three Allen ISD schools.  This year’s 2nd Annual 2015 Health Hustle was held at South Fork Ranch and played host to over 130 vendors representing the many aspects of health (i.e. – fitness, emotional, financial, wellness, nutrition, etc.).   What makes this event different than a normal school health fair, other than the size, is the fact that we encourage each vendor to not only provide information to our attendees but also to engage them in interactive activities at their booth to promote what they have to offer in some way.  These activities range from food sampling, interactive games and drawings, obstacle courses, trampolines, making healthy snack recipes, inflatables, product sampling, game trucks, on stage demos, mascot involvement, photo booths, and much more!  With rave reviews and a recorded attendance of over 2,500 people, our event was a huge success.  Through an increased awareness of health related community resources and the ability to communicate the benefits of healthy choices, our students and families prove that The Health Hustle continues to make an impact in creating a healthier school each year.

An event like The Health Hustle, while VERY rewarding and worth all the time and effort, is not something that should be taken on lightly.  Months of planning and hard work go into planning, preparing, and hosting an event of this magnitude.  Some of our biggest barriers are always:

  • Finding an event location that can accommodate our needs and still be affordable.
  • Securing sponsors and managing the incoming and outgoing sponsor dollars.
  • Contacting vendors (making contact, showing them the worth in participation, and managing the emailing process of hundreds of vendors).
  • Overseeing the details of the event day itself (volunteers, vendors, set-up, break-down, parking, tracking attendance, DJ, Demos, floor layout, etc.).

This is all said not to discourage you from implementing a health and wellness fair or similar event, the benefit to students and families far outweigh hurdles you will encounter, but the advice and/or tip we would give to others is form a good team of support, be very organized, find a system to track everything that works for you, and just GO FOR IT!!  Remember that you will make mistakes, so learn from them and keep going. 

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