Health fair provides resources for Montebello community

By Amber Paramo

“ICARE” Academy provided families in the Montebello Unified School District with resources to keep children, teens and adults safe, healthy and educated on Saturday at  Bell Gardens High School.

“ICARE” Academy promotes careers in child development, family services and education-giving students opportunity with hands-on experience, along with on-site childcare, internships, and partnerships with local colleges, agencies and businesses.

The public was able to receive information for everyone in the family at any age.

There were tables to entertain children with puzzles, books and games. Attendants of the job fair were even able to check their blood pressure. Information was distributed on child safety, after school programs, college preparatory programs, upcoming job fairs and information on health care.

Agencies, schools and departments were involved, such as Safety Belt U.S.A., East Los Angeles College’s Respiratory Department, ELAC’s CalWORKS Program, ELAC’s Child, Family & Education Studies Department, MUSD Pathways and UCLA Dentistry program.

Parents  received information from Safety Belt U.S.A to assure their children are safe and secure in the car. “90 percent of children aren’t buckled in right,” said Catharine Marroquin, Child Passenger Safety Technician from Safety Belt U.S.A.

The Respiratory Therapy Department demonstrated smoker versus non smoker lungs by using pig lungs to resemble human lungs. Participants who watched the demonstration could see the difference in appearances from both lungs.

B. Chhun, ELAC Professor and respiratory care practitioner, explained the difference between the two and gave the audience tips for staying healthy and advice for medical school. “Better thing to do is not smoke. It can expand your life by two years,” Chhun said.

“Smoking has domino effects, like difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and infections.”

Another resource that offered students and parents information was “Pathways-College and Career Success.” Pathways offers MUSD students 10 different Career Pathways engaging student learning towards their future career while in high school.

“Pathways  is an approach to students that engages A-G coursework with Career Technical Education. Students are successful in rigorous A-G courses because the career focus provides relevance through real world hands on experiences,” said Krystal Diaz from MUSD Pathways. Diaz helps coordinate resources to educate, train and help students in partnership with ELAC.

“Last year was the first full 4 years of the program of graduating class. We had a 96 percent graduation rate. Ninety-four percent went on to college, a two-year or four-year college,” Diaz said.

“Students in pathways create relationships with their peers, teachers, counselors and industry partners. This supports a student’s ability to graduate. Students who stay become family,” Diaz said.

Students who are in the program have more opportunities to go on Field trips visiting colleges, organizations, industrial support that may help in the classroom. Students have the same counselor all 4 years of high school. In Pathways, teachers cross collaborate (weekly), following a schedule to stay on track.

Southgate ELAC ‘Child Development Club’ shared helpful information including food, nutrition and health tips. “We will provide a helpful hand to the children and parents in our incredibly diverse community by doing charitable work, working directly with our community,  and by nurturing their learning  by making their learning environment a better place,” said the child club’s mission statement.

ELAC’s CalWORKS program provided information about cash assistance and services to eligible needy California families. Families that apply and qualify for ongoing assistance receive money  to help pay for housing, food and other necessary expenses even transportation. There are many other programs and benefits for which an CalWORKS family may qualify.

“Getting in the program was the best thing that happened to me.There is no excuse even if you need cash assistance, take advantage of the resources services,” said CalWORKS Representative Maria Rosales.

For those who need advice on money and financing, CalWORKS has an upcoming “Money and Financing Workshop” on May 29 located at ELAC’s Child Development Center. Childcare will be provided.

UCLA Dentistry students gave advice about oral hygiene. According to the dentistry students, flossing is just as important as brushing. The UCLA Dentistry students handed out toothbrushes after they demonstrated the proper way to brush.

UCLA Dentistry offers a “discount price of what you would normally pay,” said UCLA dentistry student Kory Snow. UCLA does comprehensive care like crowns, cavities and clean ups.

“Deep cleaning is about 1/3 of price people would normally pay.When students are being graded for something they do a better job,” said dentistry student Jeff Olson. Whenever a student is doing some type of dental work they must get multiple faculties approval before proceeding.

“At least when you are done you know you are getting good quality work done,” said Snow.

For more information

Safety Belt U.S.A

Visit or call (800) 745-SAFE

MUSD Pathways

Visit or call (323) 887-7900 ext.2318

UCLA Dentistry

To make an appointment, call 310-206-3904

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