While Attica Central School District Social Worker Tricia Janes envisions the upcoming Live Long, Stay Strong Wellness Fair as a one stop shop for local families to learn more about how agencies, businesses and vendors in Wyoming County can help on their journey to improved wellness, she also wants it to be a fun night out for families.
“It’s going to be a great way for families to unplug, spend quality time together with your children, connect with our community and get to see the amazing things we have right here in our community,” said Janes, one of the fair’s organizers.
Funded by a portion of a $25,000 grant from New York’s Office of Mental Health that Wyoming County received earlier this year, the wellness fair is a collaboration between the Attica Central School District and the county’s Mental Health Department and Youth Bureau.
Attendees will be able to walk Attica’s campus and learn about what resources the different agencies and businesses in Wyoming County can offer to help improve one’s wellness physically, mentally or otherwise.
“It’s not just social services or county agencies,” Janes stressed. “I reached out to all the local vendors here in Attica - Hands of Time Massage Therapy, Body Sense Healthcare and Nutrition, Vintage Cow, Merle’s Produce, Invictus Barber. All of the things right here in our village. Anyone that has to do with health, mental health, wellness got an invite and we’re hoping each business is able to showcase their role and responsibility within our county.”
Food will be available from Attica’s Positiv Cafe and Bakery and C&G Praller’s. Yummy’s, the popular Warsaw ice cream shop, will be offering $1 ice cream cones.
Representatives from the county’s Youth Bureau will also be hosting a family game night, said Janes.
“So when the kids come in, they're going to get a passport and if you go to a certain number of different booths, at the end of the night you're going to get to take home a board game for you and your family to take home,” she said.
Karen Feustel, assistant director for child and family services for Wyoming County, said representatives from the Attica Police Department and Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office will be at the fair to do car seat safety checks and create child ID kits.
“The Attica Police Department - one of the activities they’re doing is a coloring contest and the winner will get a gift card to Vintage Cow with a police escort, so that’s pretty cool,” she said. “We’re going to be doing tours of the fitness center, because there’s a grant that allows that to be free for the community right now. The basketball coach is going to be there doing some skills stuff in the auxiliary gym for younger kids - there’s just a lot of things that are going to be going on.
Feustel said she hopes attendees come away from the fair with motivation to improve their family’s wellness as well as their own. She’s also hoping the fair helps dispel the notion that because Attica and Wyoming County are largely rural, there’s nowhere to turn for help.
“One of the things you hear often in a small town or rural area is the limitations in terms of services and availability of things,” she said. “However one of the benefits, as I see it at least, is you do get that community. There’s people that are really committed to the wellness of their community as a whole.”
In addition to outside businesses and agencies, a handful of Attica student clubs will also be attending the fair to speak with attendees about what it is they do in their respective clubs.
Many of these student clubs are made possible by the $2.8 million School Climate Grant the U.S. Department of Education awarded the district in 2019 to help it implement a “Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child” as a means of increasing student engagement, enhancing out-of-school supports and activities and reducing drug and alcohol use among students.
“We have worked hard to achieve this goal and objectives in the first three years of the grant, and it would not be possible without the support of our stakeholders,” said Middle School Assistant Principal Sherry Bennett. “We saw what a great opportunity this would be to show off the time, effort, and opportunities that faculty and students have been involved in this year.”
Janes and Feustel both expressed the hope that the fair will continue on in future years, though perhaps at different locations.
“We’re hoping each year to have the fair at different districts in Wyoming County, move it around a little bit,” said Janes. “Maybe next year it’ll be in Letchworth, then Perry, then back to Attica.”
Added Feustel: “Were thrilled with how it;s coming together. I think it’s going to be a really fun event for kids and families alike and the Attica community should be very proud of not only their school but also the commitment and engagement we’ve seen from the entire community.”
The fair is scheduled for Friday, May 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Attica Central School District, 3338 E. Main Street Rd. Offerings will be spread throughout the district’s E. Main Street Road campus and some may be outside, depending on weather. While it’s being held at Attica, the fair is open to all Wyoming County residents.
The following agencies, businesses and vendors have confirmed their attendance at the fair:
• Wyoming County Health Department
• Tobacco Free NY
• RESTORE Sexual Assault Services
• Hillside Children's Center will have information on its GLOW family peer support program
• Partners for Prevention
• Body Sense Healthcare And Nutrition
• Young Living
• Attica Police Department
• Stevens Memorial Community Library
• Attica Pharmacy
• Falling-Leaves Farm (will be bringing goats for kids to meet)
• Upstate Dairy and Milk for Health
• Perry Police K9 Unit
• Bennington Fire Department (will be bringing fire trucks for families to check out)
The following Attica student clubs and organizations will be tabling at the fair:
• National Junior Honor Society
• Nature Club
• High School Science Club
• Elementary School STEM Club
• Middle School STEM Club
• Summer Learning Camp
• Elementary Youth Empowerment Club
• Attica’s Future Farmers of America chapter (will be handing out fruit kabobs)
• Attica Central School District’s Basketball Program