All about families

Annual Healthy Family Fair was a crowd pleaser

The 13th annual Healthy Family Fair, sponsored by Child Abuse Prevention Services (CAPS), was held Saturday at the Marshalltown Mall. Around 30 health-related booths were there to provide information and activities related to nutrition, development, education, dental health and general well-being of youth prenatal to age five. Pictured is Ashley Johnson, right, from Marshalltown Bobcat Academy, handing out school registration information and helping kids do arts and crafts.

The 13th annual Healthy Family Fair, sponsored by Child Abuse Prevention Services (CAPS), has become something of a local yearly tradition. Held Saturday at the Marshalltown Mall, the event drew thousands of youngsters and their families, who received fun, and educational information from around 30 health-related booths.

“We had great success,” said CAPS staff member Esmeralda Monroy. “I think the biggest thing was accessibility; families having easy access to all these agencies.”

To encourage folks to visit each booth, CAPS issued a map with a BINGO board on the back. The more stamps you received (visiting the vendors), the higher the chance of taking home some prizes.

Mid-Iowa Community Action, Marshalltown Public Library, LUNA, ISU Extension and Outreach and Marshalltown Parks and Recreation were among the agencies represented. Representatives from Marshalltown area preschools and kindergartens were also present to register kids for the next school year.

“It’s been awesome coordinating with local schools for registration,” Monroy added.

The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office provided a car seat safety demonstration, while the Marshalltown Police Department offered a station that did fingerprinting for children.

New this year was the inclusion of a Cars and Coasters interactive exhibit from the Grout Museum, which taught kids about the scientific principles of gravity, motion and momentum.

“We thought this was a fun way for kids to think through different ways to be creative,” Monroy said.

A variety of children’s characters were there to interact with the youngsters, including the Polynesian Princess, the League of Heroes, and Dora the Explorer and Diego. A magic show, storytime, an indoor playplace, and Zumba station provided additional entertainment options.

The first several hundred youngsters took home a free book, and the first 100 families to the McFarland Clinic booth got a free First Aid Kit.

While fun for the whole family, the event is geared towards youths prenatal to age five, focusing on the areas of nutrition, development, education, dental health and general well-being. It was free and open to the public. To learn more about this annual fair, reach out to CAPS at: 641-752-1730.

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com