MILWAUKEE — As tens of thousands of Milwaukee students prepare for day one of the new school year, the city’s health department wants them to be in tip-top shape. That's why for 18 years now the City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) has been sending kids back to school the right way —healthy, happy, and supplied to tackle homework.
“A lot of us don’t have the transportation to get around and get the necessities and things we need for the kids. So, when the community comes together to help us, we try to come out in big numbers,” Kanisha Johnson said.
Friday morning, MHD presented it's first of two back-to-school health fairs this year. The fair is sponsored by Anthem, Children's Community Health Plan, Monica HealthCare, MHS Health Wisconsin, UnitedHealthCare, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, and Independence Care Health Plan (iCare). The fair allows families free services like school-required vaccinations, there’s also lead testing, vision and health screenings, and of course haircuts by the pros.
“[This is] great, my baby gets to go to school. Her first year, I’m excited for her,” Johnson said.
Back in the braiding booth, Precious Reed, owner of All Hair is Precious in West Allis and her braiders are expecting to style about 200 hundred girls.
“We get through about 20 heads a day. So, yes, 200 is a big leap,” Reed said.
A leap Reed is willing to take because, for her, it’s all about giving back while helping young girls look as good as they feel on the first day of school.
“A lot of parents are not doing [well in this economy]. They can’t afford it, and everybody deserves to have their hair done for back to school,” Reed said.
The next back-to-school health fair is Friday, August 9th at Journey House from 9 am - 3 pm.