Stuyvesant’s first Health Fair in fifteen years was held in the third floor gymnasium on Friday, April 8. the purpose of the fair was to promote health awareness and health education through display projects and information booths. For an entrance fee of five dollars, students received six stamps, which they were able to use to enjoy refreshments and snacks and to participate in various games and activities.
Many of Stuyvesant’s clubs played active roles in the fair. the Butterfly
Project, run by the organization to Write love on Her Arms, focused
on depression and self injury. the project specifically acknowledged self cutters and
encouraged them to draw a butterfly on their wrists, name it after a significant other,
and watch it naturally fade. Students who do not directly inflict pain on themselves were encouraged to conduct the project for a friend who does.
Stuyvesant’s Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) taught people about Islam’s
relationship with health, with hopes of raising money and collecting canned foods for
a food bank in the future. they also applied temporary henna tattoos and discussed the health benefits of the henna plant.
STRIVE, Stuyvesant’s environmental club, provided information on recycling and planting and handed out seeds in exchange for stamps.
Several clubs focused on combating diseases. Stuyvesant’s Cancer Society promoted cancer initiatives through Health Jeopardy! and nail painting. the Global Citizens Corp Club distributed pamphlets regarding the HIV/AIDS epidemic and aimed to educate students about world health and poverty.
The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Spectrum promoted sexual health and had a stress ball activity. the newly formed Women’s Rights Club teamed up with the Jewish Board of Family and Children Services and provided information on sexual abuse and health.
The biggest club attraction, however, was the Black Student League’s Wii
game station, where stamps could be exchanged for a dance in the game “Michael
Jackson: the Experience.”
Other clubs present include the Stuy Red Cross Club, buildOn, and ASPIRA.
“I was very impressed. I thought it was very creative, informative, and engaging,” health teacher Barbara Garber said of the entire fair.
Outside of the club information and games, the fair had a nutrition stand to educate students about their sugar, saturated and unsaturated fat, and salt intake levels and to compare them to recommended levels. Students could exchange stamps for cups of soda, which had a fourth of the sugar of Coke. There was also a fitness corner
in the gymnastics gym and an arm wrestling competition for gift cards to Pinkberry and
“It was really fun,” freshman Kevin Thai said. “The Arm Wrestling Tournament was really the biggest highlight of the entire fair.”
In addition to Stuyvesant’s club contributions, Mat Pryfogle, Program Coordinator of buildOn, spoke to students about how education is vital to health and how an increase in literacy rates leads to an increase in nutrition.
“I really enjoyed seeing students put forth the effort and get together,” Pryfogle said. “I was very pleased to see students get involved.”
Despite immense student contribution to the fair, the turnout was low. Many
volunteers wished for a better date since many juniors were on the college trip, while
others wanted more advertising for the event.
“I feel like we should’ve put more effort into advertising, because there aren’t many people here to learn about these great causes,” said junior Victoria Tam, a member of the Butterfly Project.
Many students hope the turnout for next year’s Health Fair will be more successful and on par with other popular events in the school.
“I hope it’s as popular as the Winter Carnival,” Rebecca Liang said. “That attracted a lot more people.”
“The concept of the Health Fair is great, and everyone worked really hard on their stands,” senior and Vice President of MSA Mithi Hossain said. “In the future, I want the Health Fair to be as popular as Stuy’s Food Festival.”
SPARK counselor Angel Colon said he was glad those at the fair were mainly freshmen and sophomores who had not yet taken a health class, and that he, along with other organizations, is planning a Health Fair for October of next year. “We have yet to sit down as a committee to see what worked and didn’t work,” Colon said. He hopes the health fair next year will cover “more global health issues, in depth, and that more clubs will join,” he said.