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PENDLETON – A variety of local agencies and businesses will promote wellness and offer support information to Starpoint High School students at the school’s second annual Health and Wellness Fair on Feb. 28 at the school on Mapleton Road.

The fair will be held in the Fine Arts Auditorium lobby during school lunch periods, with more than 900 students expected to participate.

Guidance counselor Andrea Rodenhaus said, “We all have struggles in our lives. Our students need to get that information, and we need to get that out there to them, which will better help them make healthy choices.”

She said outside agencies have been invited into the school to provide health-related information in a safe environment in order to help them live a healthy lifestyle and get ready for the future in the “real world.”

Rodenhaus said topics range from mental health to physical health to learning disabilities and peer pressure as well as personal health, fitness, nutrition and substance abuse.

She said a fair such like this definitely can benefit kids. As a school counselor, she sees a lot of students struggling, especially in how they feel about themselves, including feeling insecure and not fitting in.

“All of that goes along with all of this,” Rodenhaus said of the student health fair. “I feel this can really help a student feel good about themselves – confidence-building and self-esteem, and to make healthy choices and not fall prey to making decisions that could hurt their body or hurt someone else.”

Free materials will be offered on topics such as bullying, from the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention, and there will be demonstrations on martial arts and character education from Projects Future Center and yoga meditation and/or pilates demonstrations.

Other agencies expected to be available are the Parent Network of Western New York, Mental Health Association, Northpointe, Eastern Niagara Hospital, the University at Buffalo Dental Clinic, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Horizon Health Service. Fitness sites such as the Niagara Climbing Center and LA Fitness also will participate.

“We have all different types of agencies coming in, which we are really excited about,” Rodenhaus said. “There will be one or two representatives from each agency that will come in to provide information and can talk to kids or let them pick up information.”

“This is just a way to get them physically healthy and mentally healthy, so they can feel good about themselves. It shows up in their school work too,” said Rodenhaus. “We live in a rural area, and this time of year we are into winter, and we are all feeling cooped up. I’m sure these high school kids feel the same way, especially if they are not active in outdoor sports. It’s hard to get all that energy out.”

Guidance counselor Tamah Alt, school psychologist Carrie Mansour and intern psychologist Jessica Tramont are also coordinating the event with Rodenhaus.

email: nfischer@buffnews.com