Posted on April 6, 2022
University of Louisiana Monroe students and College of Health Sciences faculty joined forces with the Children’s Coalition of Northeast Louisiana to present “Stepping into a Healthy Spring” on March 19, 2022. The family-friendly event blended fun and education about healthy lifestyles.
The University of Louisiana’s Monroe College of Health Sciences partnered with the Children’s Coalition of Northeast Louisiana to host a community outreach event, “Stepping into a Healthy Spring.”
The event was held on Saturday, March 19, 2022 at the Origin Bank Family Garden with 28 students from Dental Hygiene, Radiology Technology, Nursing, Speech Pathology, Medical Laboratory Science and Occupational Therapy Assistant programs. the ULM.
Kim Whorton, associate professor of dental hygiene and student community liaison in the School of Allied Health, organized the community outreach event with Cindy George, volunteer coordinator at the Children’s Coalition.
“I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished. We asked for volunteers with creative ideas and activities, and received so much more,” Whorton said. “Our ULM students have worked very hard to provide important information in such a fun way. We have succeeded in making a difference in our community.
Each program included activities that improved parents’ and children’s knowledge of health-related topics.
University of Louisiana Monroe College of Health Sciences students and faculty volunteer with the Children’s Coalition of Northeast Louisiana for the “Stepping into a Healthy Spring” event on March 19. ULM and the Children’s Coalition have partnered to organize the event for parents and children. Pictured, left to right, are dental hygiene students Meg Grafton and Megan Gernon, health studies program director Dr. Jessica Dolecheck, dental hygiene associate professor Kim Whorton, and students Lauren Theall and Shelby Rehms.
Occupational therapy assistant students and program director Jennifer Perodeau engaged the children in “Yoga for Health” to demonstrate yoga exercises to keep the body limber and healthy.
Not only did the kids have a blast, but Malynda Magee, a senior occupational therapy student, said it was a life-changing experience.
“I was honored to be part of such a great event for our community and our children. The children really enjoyed themselves, while learning and growing. Little hidden gems like the Monroe Community Garden are what make Monroe such a great place to live,” Magee said.
Medical laboratory science students educated children on the importance of proper hand washing. They asked the children to apply a lotion that “glows” under UV light to help visualize the remaining “glitter” as improper hand washing. The children were surprised by the ineffectively rubbed parts of their hands.
Caroline Streeter, a junior medical laboratory science student, said, “It was fun seeing all the kids at the event and helping them understand how many germs can be on their hands.
Speech-language pathology students presented a “Tossing and Mixing Plastic Cups” activity for children to understand different sounds and letter combinations. The X-ray technology students gave out “bones” sheets for the children to recognize the skeletal system through coloring and diagrams.
Dental hygiene students provided a ‘Corn Hole Board’ board game with baskets of ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ snacks to explain the effects of sugar and cavities on teeth.
Senior dental hygiene student Shelby Rehms had a blast teaching the kids.
“I really enjoyed being able to educate our community about healthy foods for their teeth,” Rehms said.
Nursing students shared a ‘Healthy Habits for Healthy Kids Rainbow’ activity allowing children to choose healthy foods and snacks from a coloring guide filled with fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins and dairy products to “eat a rainbow”.
University of Louisiana Monroe College of Health Sciences Medical Laboratory Science students teach young people about handwashing at the ‘Stepping into a Health Spring’ family event in March. ULM and the Children’s Coalition of Northeast Louisiana have partnered to host the event focused on healthy living. Pictured, left to right, are Karsen McBroom, Grace Streeter, Zoe Coleman and Lyssa Troxell-Caad.
Donald Simpson, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Health Sciences, commended Whorton and all College of Health Sciences volunteers for their community outreach.
“We view these outreach efforts as a mutual exchange of knowledge and resources. This event demonstrates the substance of President Jimmy Carter’s quote about reclaiming more than is given,” Simpson said. “The service provided by Ms Whorton and the College of Health Sciences team was carried out in the spirit of partnership, inclusion and reciprocity.”
Like Simpson, Jessica Dolecheck, Ph.D., director of the health studies program and chair of SOAH’s student community engagement committee, was proud of the students’ accomplishments and their willingness to learn leadership skills. .
“When our health sciences students get involved in community service, they develop empathy and leadership skills and realize how their actions can have a positive impact,” Dolecheck said. “Our students were able to interact with parents and children from very different backgrounds while learning patience and compassion as well as their ability to serve others.”
Through meaningful partnerships and community outreach, ULM health science students and faculty learn the value of giving back and how their actions can positively impact the people we serve.