Annual Excel By 5 Children’s Health Fair set

June 27- Saturday will be the annual Excel By 5 Children’s Health Fair, held alongside the Hernando Farmers Market on the Courthouse Square. Hours are from 10 a.m.-12 noon. It will be a great opportunity to learn about healthy options, gather information of importance to parents and their children, and have the chance to have free books and Children’s POP Bucks available.  

Each child who comes to the health fair will receive a free book and get a Power of Produce (POP) Buck worth $5 for the child to purchase a fruit or veggie of their choice at the Farmer’s Market. 

The POP program is to encourage young children to eat healthy at an early age. Books and POP Bucks will be available on a first come first serve basis to the first 100 children at 10 a.m. 

Among the other offerings for the Health Fair on Saturday will be car seat checks by the Hernando Fire Department, digital photos and fingerprinting from the Hernando Police Department, and free take-home DNA kits from the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department.  

The maternity department at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto returns to the health fair to answer questions for new parents, and the Northeast Mississippi Health Care mobile unit will be available for health screenings. Other resources addressing dyslexia, mental health, speech, occupational therapy and more will be available. 

Gia Matheny, Community Development Director for the City of Hernando, said the event’s goal is to provide families resources they need to improve their children’s well-being.  

“Our children’s health fair is one way our Excel By 5 coalition serves our community, and what better place to do this, but at our Hernando Farmers Market,” Matheny said.  

Excel By 5 is an innovative early childhood community certification process focusing on a community’s young children. It emphasizes the important roles parents and early childhood educators play in the lives of children during their most formative years – birth to age 5.

The first-of-its-kind in the United States, this program emphasizes the important roles communities play in educating their children during their most formative years–birth to five.

Excel By 5 Dolly Parton Imagination Library registration forms will also be available on Saturday. The Hernando Water Tower 10K is the only fundraiser for the free book program and funds the giveaway books and books for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library that are mailed to the children in the Hernando. For more information about the free book program contact Gia Matheny [email protected] or call 662-449-9127.

Hernando has been a certified Excel By 5 community since 2014.