Hundreds of students receive health screenings, school supplies

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COLUMBIA - Hundreds of Boone County students attended a free back-to-school health fair Saturday. 

The Voluntary Action Center, Family Impact Center and Family Health Center hosted the annual event at the Family Impact Center office in Columbia. Students who attended had the opportunity to receive vision and hearing screenings, dental exams, haircuts and school supplies. Organizers invited students entering grades K- 12 this school year to attend. 

"I'm excited for school to start because I get to see my friends," 5th grader Nayveah Moss said. "I'm also excited about recess because I get to help out the kindergartners with their school work."

Organizers said they estimated more than 700 students attended, which is several hundred more than in 2014.  Gay Littekin works with the Voluntary Action Center as a Social Service Specialist. She organized the collection of school supplies for Saturday's event.

"We were able to come up with a better flow through the building than last year,"  Littekin said. "With how many people have showed up today, we are able to get them in and out pretty fast."

The Voluntary Action Center worked with its partner organizations to ensure all students had what they needed to start the school year. 

Family Impact Center Director Ashley Guillemette said enough supplies came in for the fair Saturday, but that the organization is always accepting more supplies.

"We can absolutely always use more supplies," Guillemette said. "We do have to go at the end after we have counted everything and purchase more to supplement what people have brought in, so we can always use more donations."

The event, in its second year, ran from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.