During this week’s Every Kid Healthy Week, the Wilton High School Physical/Health Education Department is sponsoring a program presented by the Hospital for Special Surgery which focuses on health during the adolescent years.

The school has invited in three presenters from the Hospital for Special Surgery to talk to students at a critical time in their lives about important areas of their health, that are specifically tailored for their age group:

  • Staying healthy during the adolescent years
  • Eating habits to avoid burnout and help with academic and athletic performance
  • Managing obstacles (i.e. injury) while achieving peak performance in athletics and academics

Parents are also invited to attend the presentations.

The program was proposed by Roseann De Simone, who is both a health teacher at the school and a pediatric nurse. It was created in conjunction with DeSimone’s own daughter, Jonna De Simone Franklin, a WHS graduate (Class of 1995) who is now the director of education for the physicians assistant department at HSS.

De Simone says that the program matter dovetails with the WHS health and physical education curriculum, with a goal of being proactive in keeping students healthy and, as much as possible, injury free.

I see that whole age of students not doing the right thing, not eating properly. I’m not saying just junk food and stuff like that, but they sometimes get the wrong message from people who are not trained, ‘Oh, you should be taking this supplement,’ or ‘You should be working out this way.’ If they get it from experts, and they get the message from the people who are in the know, who are doing this every day, it may sink into them. What better people to bring in from the number one orthopedic hospital,” De Simone says.

The three presenters who will be talking to students are:

  • Dr. Samuel Taylor, HSS Orthopedics at Stamford Health, specializing in sports medicine, and the associate team physician for the NY Giants. He also works with the FDNY and NYPD. He will speak on staying healthy during the adolescent years, with a musculoskeletal focus
  • Deborah Roche, PhD, a clinical psychologist at HSS, who will speak about managing obstacles while trying to achieve peak performance in academics and as an athlete
  • HSS nutritionist Heidi Skolnik, MS CDN FACSM, who will describe proper eating habits for active adolescents to avoid burnout and to help with academic and athletic performance.

Two sessions are being offered to students during the school day on Thursday, April 25 in the Clune Auditorium at WHS–and parents are invited to attend as well. Session 1 runs 9:10-10:40 a.m., and session 2 is 12:30-2 p.m.. Parents who would like to attend can email Lucille DeNovio to provide their name, phone number, preferred session and number of attendees. Parents should bring photo ID to the presentation.

“Even for people that have younger children, and you are worried about their growth pattern, or worried about what happens when they go to a t-ball game and they get all frustrated when they don’t hit the ball, or something like that. This is the place to be too,” says De Simone. “You can hear from professionals what strategies to use to help your children overcome adversity, or to help your children live a healthy lifestyle by eating good eating patterns. So that when they do get up into the teenage world, they can build on that foundation to improve. It’s not so farfetched for someone who has children in the lower schools to be here also.”