By the end of the week, about 900 students are expected to leave the Byrnes Health Education Center a little more knowledgeable about everything from nutrition to gun safety.

The 35th Annual Children’s Wellness Days is a yearly event for York County third-graders that teaches them how to make positive decisions to lead a healthy life. The three-day health and wellness series conducted in partnership with the York Hospital Auxiliary kicked off Tuesday morning.

During two-hour sessions, students went through a whirlwind of health lessons broken into 15-minute chunks.

“This is a half-day of comprehensive health education across all topics,” said Byrnes Health Education Center President Anne Bahn. “We hope it’s reinforcing what they’ve learned or something teachers can take back.”

About 200 third-graders came out Tuesday, including 21 students from Kreutz Creek Elementary School teacher Megan Geiman’s class. In a session with police and firefighters, her students learned about not talking to strangers, wearing helmets and what to do if they see a gun.

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When York City Police Lt. Gene Fells dropped a plastic gun in front of three rows of third-graders, almost all of them raised their hand to check out the blue toy gun. One student said it’s not the best idea. Fells said the children should tell an adult immediately instead.

In another lesson, on dental health, the students were taught to brush and floss using oversized mouth models.

“A lot of this they don’t get at school, so it’s nice that they can come to the center and get it here,” Geiman said.

At Kreutz Creek, Geiman said, a health teacher is able to incorporate some of the lessons from the event into their classroom. But many other districts do not, said volunteer Alice Sloane.

In a session with the Margaret Moul Home, the students were introduced to two residents who have limited mobility and limited speech. Sloane said this is one of the lessons with the greatest impact because it helps students understand they might have more in common with those with disabilities than they previously thought.

“These are messages we hope they take back with them,” Sloane said.

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