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Bringing healthy back

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Classes haven’t started yet, but kids are invited to spend Saturday at Kenai Middle School getting ready for the new school year.

The Head Back Healthy event will be taking over the school for the day, offering youth and families a chance to learn, socialize and even get free stuff.

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Organizer Shawna Jackson described the event as a children’s health fair.

“We wanted to make it fun and educational,” she said.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. On the schedule is a free lunch at noon, abbreviated CPR training, and information from a variety of local organizations.

“I would leave yourself a couple hours,” Jackson said as to how long it might take a family to make their way through the various booths.

Each child will get a passport to have the vendors stamp, and when they have a stamp from each stop, they get a free backpack filled with school supplies, Jackson said.

The booths will cover a variety of topics, but the focus is on fitness and nutrition.

Stations will talk about eating right, packing healthy lunches and staying active.

“We are giving out children’s cookbooks on healthy eating,” Jackson said.

And a big bouncy slide will help kids put what they learn about staying active into action.

Kenai Peninsula Emergency Services will offer demonstrations and take-home materials to help educate families about CPR.

The classes will offer a simplified version of CPR that’s meant to encourage people to do something while waiting for trained professionals to arrive.

“This program’s showing you push hard, push fast,” said Emergency Services’ representative Jane Schultz.

The classes will be offered about every 40 or 45 minutes throughout the day.

Instructors will also have kits to give away with a DVD that provides more detailed instruction on rescue breathing and an inflatable mannequin to practice on.

“We received a donation from the Kenai Elks club,” Schultz said. “We were able to purchase 50 kits.”

Schultz said the group hopes to give one kit per family so that more people can benefit from them. The modified CPR classes will also be taught in Kenai Peninsula schools this year.

Last year the event drew about 300 participants, Jackson said. The event is expected to grow this year, with lunchtime being the busiest portion of the day.

However, the event isn’t focused only on kids. There will be information for parents, too, Jackson said.

One booth will have DNA kits for parents to keep a record of their child, and the Women’s Heart program — among others — will offer information geared towards both kids and adults.

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