M Partner, Lexington to Host Free Health Fair

Community event offers free health screenings, rummage sale to benefit local preschoolers

The Lexington Health Fair and Rummage Sale is set for June 1. Lexington is part of M Partner, a University of Mississippi initiative to align university capabilities with priority projects in partner communities.

LEXINGTON, Miss. – Community members and visitors to the Lexington community are invited to attend a free Health Fair (9 a.m. to noon) and Rummage Sale (7 a.m. to noon) to benefit area preschoolers on Saturday, June 1.

The Health Fair will be held on the southeast side of the Courthouse lawn. In case of rain, it will be moved to the Holmes County Arts Council Building on the corner of South Vine and East China on the Court Square. The Rummage Sale is being held at the Holmes County Herald, located at 308 Court Square, directly across from the Courthouse lawn where Health Fair is being held.

Lexington is part of M Partner, a University of Mississippi initiative to align university capabilities with priority projects in partner communities. Through M Partner, Lexington has identified projects to promote economic development and healthy living, utilizing community resources such as its historic downtown and vibrant tourist opportunities.

“I have had the pleasure of working with some of the best students and partners this semester, and we are excited to be in Lexington on June 1,” Assistant Professor of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, Ovuokerie Addoh said. “It has been a tremendous learning experience for us and we hope to contribute meaningfully to the city of Lexington during the free health fair and beyond.”

Students enrolled in courses such as Organization and Administration of Health Promotion Programs and Community Nutrition collaborated with Mayor Robin McCrory and various partners to develop the details for the health fair that will take place. The health fair will offer free health-related screening exams, information on healthy choices for a fit and well community, education info (such as pre-diabetes and tobacco use), a Farmers Market registration table for growers for the upcoming June 7 Farmers Market with a few vegetables that are ready for sale, UM undergraduate and graduate academic and program information and other beneficial community information.

In addition to the free health fair, attendees are encouraged to visit the rummage sale to benefit the Community Students Learning Center’s HIPPY Program (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters). This local chapter of the national HIPPYUSA organization provides weekly in-home visits and free resources to participating families, offering instruction on how to get their children kindergarten-ready.

“It has been instrumental in helping students get ready to learn,” said Community Students Learning Center Executive Director, Beulah Greer.  “It is a research-based program, and we are the only one in Mississippi. We work with families with 3-5 year olds, providing curriculum to the parents—seven books a year, so 21 books total. We ask parents to work with their child using the curriculum 15-20 minutes a day and offer role-playing with the parents to help them get ready to use the curriculum. It really adds to what they’re doing in Headstart and engages the parent.”

Sponsors for the health fair include the university’s M Partner initiative, School of Applied Sciences, Wellness Education office, University Museum and Miss University of Mississippi Scholarship Pageant; the Delta Health Alliance, including the Delta Pre-Diabetes Program and the Healthy Pregnancy Program; The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi’s coalition of Madison, Yazoo and Holmes counties; The Action Children’s Business Fair; Mississippi State University Holmes County Extension; Holmes Community College’s nursing program’ The Boys and Girls Club of the Mississippi Delta; and the University of Mississippi Medical Center at Holmes County.

For more information about the event, visit the Mayor’s Office in Lexington. For more information about the rummage sale, contact the Community Students Learning Center at (662) 834-0905. For more information about University of Mississippi M Partner and its exciting future, visit http://mpartner.olemiss.edu or contact Laura Martin, M Partner Director and Associate Director of the McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement, lemartin@olemiss.edu and 662-915-2078.