New Jersey Health Initiatives - A Better State of Health
A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program
Halloween can be Scary, but Staying Healthy can be FUN!

In October 2019, our consumer health librarians spread the word about good health at a most unexpected place – the Boo Bash Halloween Parade inside the East Brunswick Square Mall. Hundreds of children paraded through the mall along with their parents and grandparents, stopping by the table to browse and pick up fun items, bookmarks, and articles about healthy eating habits and lifestyles for kids.

Spooky goblins, Disney characters, including Captain Jack Sparrow, superheroes, skeletons, soldiers, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, a princess, and even Mary Poppins stopped by to meet the librarians and learn how to eat and live healthier. Our librarians gave away Healthy Fruits Coloring Books and crayons to more than 300 children to teach them how fruit can be a delicious, sweet and healthy treat.

The kids eagerly picked up a Hungry Little Caterpillar Healthy Eating handout and My Plate crossword puzzle with the most popular articles for parents being those about Choosing Healthy Snacks for Kids, and Cold & Flu Prevention, Handwashing to Keep Your Family Healthy and an article for older kids on the Dangers of Vaping. Some expectant mothers stopped by and picked up an article called During Pregnancy.

The event was an enormous success, as librarians interacted with people from the culturally diverse community and surrounding towns. Visitors represented Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, African American, Hispanic and Caucasian ethnicities. The event showed us that a common thread unites all parents who came together for the parade representing different corners of the world.

The event was a microcosm of our community that showed us that parents everywhere want their children to be educated about practicing positive health habits. We learned that everyone treasures health and learning. Our participation at the parade showed us that good health truly begins upstream, even at the Halloween Boo Bash in the mall, and that fun opportunities with candy and sweets are still an opportunity to enlighten kids and their parents to keep future generations healthy and well.

The Grantee Blog regularly publishes updates from NJHI-supported communities. Bookmark this site to stay up-to-date and share in the work of building healthier communities across New Jersey.

 

Project
Author
Karen Parry
Organization
East Brunswick Public Library