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St. Regis Falls students Health and Wellness Day has special meaning


ST. REGIS FALLS - Today will not just be Health and Wellness Day for St. Regis Falls Central School, but it will also encompass a celebration of life for one employee.

Debbie Labrake, administrative assistant to the district’s special education department, received a new kidney over the Easter holiday school break.

Ms. Labrake had been on the waiting list for almost two years.

“We’re hoping to have a sundae party with her,” said school nurse Pat Godreau-Sexton, adding that the sundae party will be for the whole school, one grade at a time, with the ice cream donated by Stewart’s.

Ms. Labrake had been going to dialysis three times a week since June 2010 while she awaited a kidney transplant. It was in May 2010 when she was diagnosed with stage four kidney failure.

She has been unable to return to her normal work hours thus far as her immune system is low after the transplant.

“[But] she looks amazing,” Ms. Godreau-Sexton said. “She feels well.”

She said Ms. Labrake will be present to answer any questions the students may ask and will have the opportunity to visit with her as well.

Students will begin Health and Wellness Day by forming a ‘circle of life’ around the school at 8 a.m., in honor of Ms. Labrake.

“It’s an all-day event to promote health and wellness for pre-K through 12th-graders,” Ms. Godreau-Sexton said.

For nearly a decade, Health and Wellness Day has been sponsored by St. Regis Falls Central School and Alice Hyde Medical Center to promote healthy living and healthy choices.

Students will learn from various information through a combination of presentations on the Food Pyramid, Healthy Relationships, Poison Prevention and Safety, Mental Health and Wellness, Team Building, Hand Washing, Anti-Bullying, Zumba, Can Jam, Flag Football, College Nutrition, and “The Master Of Disaster.”

“And plenty of exercise,” Ms. Godreau-Sexton said.

While older student will focus more on emotional health, first to sixth -graders will learn about physical health with presentations such as the Master of Disaster presentation. This presentation will demonstrate how to respond to disasters, presented by the American Red Cross.

Pre-K and kindergarten students will learn about Poison Prevention and Safety, which will be demonstrated through the Mr. Yuk program through Alice Hyde. The Mr. Yuk program demonstrates the dangers of hazardous chemicals through a magic show. Pre-K and Kindergarten students will also learn the importance of washing their hands with Scrubby Bear, according to Godreau-Sexton’s email.

Kindergarten through third-graders will be observing an anti-bullying presentation, as well as a presentation from the AKC Ambassador.

According to the AKC website,, the lesson plan for younger students involves such topics as teaching them the importance of service dogs and how these dogs help people within the community, teaching children how to properly care for a dog, teaching children how to approach a dog and the safety precautions when they encounter a loose dog and teaching them the value of a well-trained dog.

But it will be the fourth through sixth-graders who will learn about rabies from the Franklin County Public Health, according to Godreau-Sexton.

The organization and presenters that will provide this information, as well as the activities will include Alice Hyde Medical Center, Emma Brackett for Zumba, Franklin County Cooperative Extension, Franklin County Public Health, Mountain View 4-H Camp, the American Red Cross, Planned Parenthood, the AKC (American Kennel Club) Ambassador, and North Star Prevention.

Alice Hyde will also host a free cholesterol screening for the St. Regis Falls staff from 10 a.m. to noon, according to Ms. Godreau-Sexton.

Parents are welcome to attend the event.

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