HARLEM, Manhattan (PIX11) – Harlemites took advantage of free health resources, music, food and fun, including Earth Day-themed arts and crafts at the Harlem Health & Wellness Fest at a Harlem school playground Friday.

Organizers say it was a way to get families out of their homes and the health guidance they need. Music, food, bouncy houses and cancer pre-screening vans were available for families to take advantage of.

“Health is about cancer, screenings, giving out info – but it’s also about health with the community and bringing people together and uplifting each other, and that’s the health we want to promote in this community,” said Gregary Griffin, program director of BEACON

The healthy family-friendly affair was held outdoors in the schoolyard of PS 194 in Harlem. 

Ten-year-old Aisha Doumbin is a Harlem student. “We are going to be able to get more healthier and have more strength,” Aisha said.

Seventeen-year-old Leila Alamarie volunteers with Teen Choice. “Doing these events, it’s really important because I like to educate the youth on topics like these,” she said.

The event was put together by The Children’s Village and Partnership with Children – two Harlem-based groups focused on helping kids and their families who live in the city’s most underserved communities. Organizers say it was a way to provide Black and brown families with health resources – everything from pamphlets to COVID tests to screenings.

TaShana Pace worked with Children’s Village, based at the Drew Hamilton Community Center in Harlem. “Diabetes, high blood pressure – a lot of people in our community aren’t knowledgeable about these and some are fearful to get the help and ask the questions,” she said.

Senator Cordell Cleare joined the party too. “A lot of people weren’t able to go out during the pandemic and were reluctant to go out some care was not available – we need to people to get back out and get their regular screenings conducted,” she said from the event.

For health resources in Harlem, visit the Children’s Village website.