SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Middle School (SOMS) held its Second Annual Wellness Extravaganza on Thursday, May 12, which was part of the first SOMS Wellness Week. The event was open to the community, with kids of all ages attending.

The evening featured performances, demonstrations, and the chance to meet and learn from dozens of local organizations who had booths in the SOMS gym and cafeteria. Some of the organizations participating included Planned Parenthood of Metro NJ, Garden State Equality, the South Orange Environmental Commission, and Robin Hood, which helps kids who live in poverty.

There were performances by Studio 509 of South Orange, the SOMS Select Choir, and the TWIM Experience.

Sign Up for E-News

Jane Jones of Jane's Juice was giving out samples of carrot juice with lemon and ginger. Jones stated that while some of the kids were reluctant at first, almost all enjoyed the drink once they gave it a chance. "It's great to get kids to try new vegetables, and even better, to have them like them," said Jones.

SOMS students attending the fair mentioned that "everywhere you go there is something to do," with some adding that they especially liked "all the free stuff." 

Organizations were giving away samples, tee shirts, and some raffled off larger prizes as well. 

The event was organized by Alison Cahill, a health teacher at SOMS, who also organized this year's Wellness Week and last year's Wellness Extravaganza. According to an email from Cahill, "my mission is to bridge the gap between the wonderful expertise in our surrounding areas and our school community. Together, we can learn the most up-to-date information in all areas of health: physical, mental and emotional, and social."

SOMS Health and Wellness Week had expert speakers covering topics including substance abuse, bullying, relaxation, nutrition, and fitness, as well as food tasting and chair massages (Wellness Week full schedule here).