SAFE BASE health fairs planned

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

About 1,000 kids are expected to participate in health fairs associated with enrollment for Allen County schools the next two weeks.
The fairs, sponsored by USD 257’s SAFE BASE, include free dental screenings and free basic school supplies for students who come to enroll. Parents will have opportunities to pick up vouchers for immunizations and appointments for vision examinations.
Dental vouchers will be issued if problems are detected during screenings and to those who’ve never visited a dentist. Financial eligibility requirements will apply.
Angela Henry, SAFE BASE director, explained that vision screening would not be part of the fairs. Instead, students with apparent problems will be given vouchers to visit an optometrist. Henry said vision vouchers would also be available by contacting her at 365-4780 once classes start in Iola schools.
Henry said money for the health fairs and vouchers came from “a variety of financial sources.”
Enrollment and health fairs will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday in both Iola and Marmaton Valley high school commons. In Humboldt, they will be in the elementary school 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 11 and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 12.
This is the fifth year for the health fairs. To date, 3,400 students have had dental screenings, and follow-up treatment was provided to 600 students countywide.

SAFE BASE will start its 10th year in Iola this fall. SAFE BASE activities begin Sept. 14 and will be available Monday through Friday for elementary students and Monday through Thursday for middle and high school students.
During the spring, funding for another year of SAFE BASE at the elementary schools was in question. A federal grant expired June 30. A grant to carry the program through the new school year was awarded by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
A grant application for three years of federal funding plus assistance to other local organizations such as Hope Unlimited was not successful. Henry said she would study comments made in denial of the application in preparing a new grant application for the next funding cycle.
Funding for middle and high schools programs — primarily tutoring — is in place through 2011.