In the summer of 2017, the Gallia-Vinton Educational Service Center, the Gallia County Department of Job and Family Services, and Gallia County Health Department initiated "Healthy Kick Start", a back-to-school campaign supporting the well-being of students for a healthy beginning of a new school year. The results of the effort were indicative the event was successful and the services fulfilled important needs of local families.
On August 11, 2018, "Healthy Kick Start II" was held at the Gallia County Health Department from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Children and their families rotated through twelve stations with some of the stops presenting health-related materials and information (like understanding the social and emotional needs of children) and others providing actual health services (like child immunizations). The children received prizes at each of the stations (for example, hygiene kits with toothbrushes and toothpaste or pencils and notebooks for school). Other prizes were given away periodically throughout the day by the ESC's own Paw Patrol character. Other characters, like Skippy the Kangaroo and Bumble Bee helped the children and families maneuver the stations. Families that took part in all 12 station activities received a FREE movie pass and were registered for a FREE drawing for school shoes. Fifty-two pairs of shoes were awarded through the drawing. All the attendees received free pizza and Kona Ice as treats and enjoyed great music by 101.5 Big Buck Country radio that was broadcasting live on-site to help promote the event.
Approximately 350 people representing 90 Gallia County families attended "Kick Start II". At least 166 children received services during the day. The children will be students at Gallia County Local, Gallipolis City, Ohio Valley Christian, and Guiding Hands Schools or in the case of some, will be homeschooled. The "Kick Start" initiative would not be possible without the support of many additional community partners. The following organizations assisted the Gallia-Vinton ESC, the Gallia County Health Department, and the Gallia County Department of Job and Family Services with "Healthy Kick-Start II":
Holzer Health Systems
Gallia County Sheriff's Department
Gallia County Children and Family First Agency
Hopewell Health Center
Dr. Joegenson Dentistry
Gallipolis Fire Department
Gallia County Local Schools
Gallipolis City Schools
Silver Screen VII
Big Buck County 101.5