Posted: November 2017
Who said learning about health couldn’t be fun? Thirty-seven Elon University PA students taught healthy habits to 120 fifth-grade students at Garrett Elementary School through an interactive health fair.
Elon’s PA students organized the fair and developed health education content that focused on nutrition, physical activity, safety, oral health, online safety and screen time, and germs/hand hygiene. The topics were chosen after discussing with Garrett’s teachers the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction fifth grade health curriculum.
During the fair, students rotated through “stations” to learn about each topic. Additionally, parents received a newsletter announcing the fair as well as providing additional information on the PA profession.
"It was incredible working with the children and doing something hands on, and the enthusiasm we received from the students and faculty at Garrett was beyond encouraging. When we're constantly being flooded with new information and tests to study for, it's sometimes easy to lose sight of why we started our journey in healthcare. Having the opportunity as students to collaborate with our classmates and faculty to educate the kids on healthy habits and safety issues was a great way to remind ourselves why we chose this profession," says first-year PA student Anitha Bhuvaneswaran.
The “PArtnering for Healthy Habits” event proved beneficial not just to fifth-graders and parents, but also to the PA students, who put their clinical knowledge and communication skills into practice, while giving back to the community.
“This project allowed me a unique opportunity to provide a meaningful educational experience within my community,” shared second-year PA student Amanda Ferri. “I felt impassioned due to the positive impact it could have on our kids in Alamance County.”
Given the success of their health fair, Elon plans on continuing student-led outreach and expanding their healthy habits project to other schools within the County. Read more about Elon’s efforts on their website or through the North Carolina Academy of PAs.
The project was funded by the nccPA Health Foundation’s Be the CHANGE grant program.