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Port Chester Students Spring into Wellness

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. - Port Chester High School students got a unique opportunity to “spring into wellness” at the school’s health fair this week.

The fair lasted the length of the school day and featured stations on everything from lifeguard training to nutrition. Among the participating groups were the Carver Center, Greenwich Hospital, Whitson’s, the district’s food service, and D.A.R.E. The event was run in partnership with Open Door Family Medical Centers.

“This was a joint partnership between the district and Open Door,” said Joseph Durney, the district's director of health. “We have such a unique situation where we have school based centers that provide primary healthcare to students. “

As part of that partnership, Open Door provides the district with a health advocate and a school nutritionist who stress the importance of maintaining a healthy diet. In addition to Open Door, the district also had representatives from the school’s food service well.

“Whitson’s has become more than just a vendor, in many ways they are our partner,” Durney said. “A lot of people don’t realize that nutrition is a big issue with children these days. Eating well and being active is so important. “

Durney said the biggest issues facing high school students nationally and abroad is nutrition and substance abuse. Even though he said the district’s substance abuse has been reduced below the national average and nutrition increased, Durney and the wellness committee is pushing for more.

“We’ve put forth a centered and focused effort, it’s our response to intervention,” Durney added. “We recognize there is an issue. We know kids at this age are subject to substance abuse nationally and internationally.”

Durney stressed the correlation between wellness and student achievement.

“This is just another example of the district's commitment to the wellness of children,” Durney said. “When they are well, they perform better socially and academically. It’s a part of educating the whole child. You don’t achieve academically without having the whole child considered.”

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