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Healthwise: Elementary School Outreach Programs

By: Cheryn Stone Email
By: Cheryn Stone Email

February 24, 2010

It was story time with a twist Wednesday morning at Greenbrier Elementary School. Jackie Martin, with Martha Jefferson Hospital, shared a lesson in leadership with students at Greenbrier.

"I use the story I wrote based on my son and some of the peer pressure he experienced throughout school. That makes this one in particular pretty special," said Martin, the Director of Community Benefit for Martha Jefferson Hospital.

Martin's presence at Greenbrier is part of a community outreach program through the hospital. The topics vary from hand washing, to nutrition and exercise, to positive interaction with people with disabilities.

"The students love it. I'll tell you one instance, we had a third-grade class who got to experience what it would be like to be in a wheel chair. I had other classes say, 'well when do we get to do the wheel chairs?' So, the kids are really excited about it," said Greenbrier Elementary School principal James Kyner.

The lessons from the hospital also tie into SOL requirements, which is why Martha Jefferson is hoping to add the outreach program to other schools in the area. There's even a benefit to Greenbrier's bottom line.

"Martha Jefferson is funding this program, so really it's just a benefit for us. We were able to work it into our schedule, and it's free of cost for our school, which is good," said Kyner.

The program provides a different way for students to absorb the information, and the students at Greenbrier Elementary are definitely learning the lesson. However, it's ultimately up to them to write the ending story.


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