We all recognize the value in reaching out to the community around us—it’s good for the neighborhood and it’s good for the soul. But is it possible to lend a helping hand while also having fun and learning something? The folks over at Rasmussen College’s Ocala campus sure think so!
The Ocala campus’ School of Nursing co-sponsored a community-wide Kid’s Health Expo this past May. Approximately 100 nursing students and faculty teamed up with Paddock Mall to host the educational event, teaching more than 300 parents and children about different venues for personal health.
Students brainstormed and organized 29 interactive booths at which they taught the community’s children about germs, sun care, water safety, nutrition, hydration, plant and insect safety and more. Kids played in sand, made their own germs and even learned how to choose their own food.
Ocala’s School of Nursing has been sponsoring these community-focused educational events for five quarters now. The themes in the past have been geared toward pregnant mothers, adolescents and senior citizens, providing a wealth of educational information for each group.
“We take pride in our profession and the responsibility that it has to the community,” says Karen Guty, nursing dean at the Ocala campus. “It also encourages students to be out in the community, and it emphasizes the values of our school and our program.”
Lynn Whitmer is a senior instructor in the nursing program, and she served as the lead instructor for the Health Expo.
“We want to introduce students to a community event where they can take the lead and share their education. They get a great thrill out of sharing with a diverse group of people,” she says. “It’s a graded event for students, but it’s also just a fun day and truly educational for all.”
“We’ve been blown away,” Guty adds. “The students truly out-do themselves at each event with their creativity, their enthusiasm and their engagement with community members.”
Guty and Whitmer are among many at Rasmussen’s various campuses who are actively striving to make a difference in the lives of their students, as well as in the lives of the community members who live life alongside them. Continue to stop by the News Beat blog to stay updated on what the campuses are up to!