September 20 marks Newtown’s 21st Annual Health and Public Safety Fair and the fair’s planners — Mae Schmidle, Della Schmid, Natalie Dos Santos, Donna Culbert and Judy Blanchard — are inviting the entire community to visit and take advantage of free health screenings, information, health enhancing advice and tons of giveaways. Residents can visit the fair, being held again this year at the Newtown Middle School on Queen Street from 9 am to 1 pm. A new contest this year will give Holly the calf a middle name. Every year, Newtown’s Paproski Family of Castle Hill Farm provide a cow or calf to the Health Fair to promote Newtown’s agricultural heritage, and as a unique special guest for children and animal lovers to visit. “Holly is a new member of the Paproski Family with a special story, Ms Culbert said.
About 150 participants or “yogis” attended the Second Annual Newtown Yoga Festival on Saturday, August 23, at Newtown Youth Academy Sports & Fitness Center at Fairfield Hills. The participants sampled various versions of yoga. Area teachers who participated included Barbara Templeton, Kristi Gunnershaug, Anne Pelisson, Chris Smith, Aline Marie, Lydia Smith, Karen Pierce, Kat Barton, Joanne Keane, and Brian Pontolilo. Internationally known teachers Ray Crist, Jennifer Reis, and Tiffany Maloney also provided instruction. Suzy DeYoung and Jennifer Smith Bassett were the co-chairs of the event.
As teachers headed back to school in Newtown this year they are better equipped to respond to specific students in need after participating in the first phase of Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training sponsored by The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, Inc.
The American Red Cross will hold a Blood Drive on Thursday, September 4, from 1 to 6 pm, at Masonicare at Newtown. A bloodmobile from the American Red Cross will be located in the parking lot. The event is open to the public and community members are encouraged to consider donating. There is currently an 8,000-unit blood shortage in Connecticut, according to the American Red Cross.
Anxiety about the first day of school is not limited to kindergarteners and children starting a new school. Younger children, even those with a year or two of school behind them, may experience a new or repeat bout of separation anxiety, and children of any age are often apprehensive about the unknown: a new teacher, new classmates and new academic challenges. “Anxiety is normal and understandable at any time of change or transition, including the beginning of a new school year,” says Dr Carly Orenstein of Morris Psychological Group, located in Parsippany, N.J. “Children worry about things that are unfamiliar and about things they haven’t mastered yet. ‘What if I don’t know the answers? Will my teacher be nice? Who will I play with at recess?’ “Parents should be alert to the signs of anxiety and help children overcome their worries with some simple strategies that will ease the transition into the new year for the whole family.”
For only the second time since the Rotary Club of Newtown has undertaken sponsorship of children in need of heart surgery, through the Newtown Initiative of the Rotary International Gift of Life Program, local members were able to meet face-to-face with children they are helping. On Monday, August 18, Newtown Rotary members Pat Caruso, Mike Toll, and Tom McKirdy greeted 13-year-old Arben Lajqi of Peja, Kosova, and 2-year-old Leona Hoti of Rahovec, Kosova. The two children had arrived in the United States July 28. Originally scheduled for heart surgery earlier this month at St Francis Hospital on Long Island, where they are staying with local Rotary members there, the surgery had been delayed to August 20. Rotary Club of Newtown members had the opportunity to spend time with the children and their families.
Coco Song eyewear is a new designer brand that will be showcasing the latest frames at Danbury Eye Physicians & Surgeons Thursday, August 21, from 3 to 6:30 pm, at 69 Sand Pit Road. According to a release, Coco Song eyewear was created in Italy and inspired by the Chinese culture. The designer eyewear is known for using unusual materials such as leaves, silks, feathers, lace, gems, semiprecious stones, and flowers that are inserted into layers on the frames by skilled artisans.
The Sound Center will host the “Wellness for Your Spirit Summer Festival and Fair” on Saturday, August 9, from 3 to 7 pm. The event will feature local vendors, music, and healing arts programs. Workshops will be offered to highlight the upcoming fall program line-up. Classes and demonstrations will be held in hypnosis, belly dance, various types of yoga, mindful meditation for adults and teens (MSBR), nutrition, Reiki, Kirtan, and psychic/intuitive readings. A fireside drum circle will end the festival at sunset.
Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr and Health District Director Donna Culbert are both praising a recent unanimous State Board of Education resolution encouraging Connecticut public schools to provide students with training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of automated external defibrillators.
An employee of Sophia Natural Health Center in Brookfield will present a free lecture at C.H. Booth Library on Wednesday, July 30, at 7 pm. Kenneth Hoffman, medical director for Sophia, will present “Introduction to Chinese Medicine and Women’s Health” in conjunction with his book, Essential Remedies for Women’s Health — What Every Woman Needs To Know to Heal, Prevent Chronic Disease, and Design a Plan for a Healthier Lifestyle. Mr Hoffman will speak about holistic approaches and natural alternatives to women’s health related to hormone imbalances, menopause, osteoporosis, heart and breast health, weight loss, and stress.