2015-09-30 / Features

Simotas Hosts Back To School Event


Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and Mount Sinai Queens hosted “Back to School in Good Health” at the Muslim American Society of Queens, emphasizing healthy habits and safety, and distributing free school supplies to students. Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and Mount Sinai Queens hosted “Back to School in Good Health” at the Muslim American Society of Queens, emphasizing healthy habits and safety, and distributing free school supplies to students. On September 17, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas and Mount Sinai Queens hosted “Back to School in Good Health” at the Muslim American Society of Queens.

Students and parents spoke with Pediatrician Christopher Clemens, MD and Dietician Carrina Burke, MS, RD, CDN, CNSC, both of Mount Sinai Queens, about the importance of starting the school year in good health and maintaining a balanced diet. The event also included information from the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development on after-school programs; a yoga class for kids with an instructor from a local yoga studio; blood pressure screening; and fingerprint identification services by the New York Anti- Crime Agency. Simotas distributed school supplies to students from local elementary schools.

“Healthy habits are crucial for success in school and for the development of young minds,” said Simotas. “Just as kids need adequate school supplies to succeed, they need to be healthy in order to make the most of their opportunities in the classroom.”

“We have a wonderful diversity of languages and cultures in Astoria, Queens – according to City Data, the most diverse neighborhood of the five boroughs,” said Dr. Clemens. “With a few guiding principles, parents can easily find many healthy foods within their own traditions, and if they would like to, that of many other traditions right here in Queens. From falafel to ful [fava beans], from moussaka to mole, we have many healthy foods that can build strong bodies and minds and even connect us with our neighbors and cultures from all over the world.”

“I was proud to partner with Mount Sinai Queens and the Muslim American Society of Queens,” said Simotas, herself a product of local public schools. “By working together with parents and community organizations, we can give our children the resources and support necessary for a fun and productive school year.”

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