School of Medicine Wraps Up Third Annual Mini-Med School for Kids
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Dr. Yvette Rooks found plenty of right answers to her questions about nutrition and exercise.
More than 30 children between the ages of 5 and 16 had a taste of medical school throughout July and August when the University of Maryland School of Medicine held its third annual Mini-Med School for Kids at the Salvation Army's Franklin Square Boys & Girls Club summer camp in West Baltimore.
"Mini-Med School for Kids targets children from our underserved community in hopes of delivering key messages about important, and very relevant, health and lifestyle issues," explains Heather Graham Phelps, Manager of Public Relations in the School of Medicine's Office of Public Affairs. "It’s our intent to reach these kids while they are still young and healthy in order to instill valuable information about taking care of their bodies and making smarter health and lifestyle choices."
Things kicked off July 8 with a lesson from Dr. Yvette Rooks, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, about the importance of eating well and exercising. The campers, many of whom have participated in previous sessions of Mini-Med School for Kids, impressed Dr. Rooks with their ready answers to her questions about nutrition.
Mini-Med School for Kids continued each Wednesday over the next five weeks. Dr. Mary Beth Bollinger, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, spoke with campers about allergies and asthma. Dr. Gina Perez, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, tackled stress relief and anger management, with some help from Truman the Dragon, mascot of The Baltimore Times’ Kidsville newspaper. Dr. David Pumplin, Adjunct Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology, got the kids moving with a presentation on the human body and how it works. And Dr. Corrine Erickson educated them about skin care, particularly protecting themselves from the sun during these hot summer days.
The final session brought the campers to campus, where they had a hands-on session in the Department of Medical & Research Technology. McGruff the Crime Dog also paid the children a visit, during a presentation from the UMB Police about safety. Things ended with lunch, where the children were presented with graduation certificates for successfully participating in this year’s program.
"We've formed a partnership with the School of Medicine that is really amazing," said Deborah Tyson, director of the camp. "The children go home and tell their parents about eating healthy, exercising, not using drugs or selling drugs, not smoking or drinking, and I hear back from the parents that they are so impressed by everything their children have learned. It's been so wonderful, and we hope to have the chance to do it again next year, because it is an excellent program."