An ongoing partnership between MU Family Impact Center and SHP’s Department of Health Sciences’ Office of Experiential Learning allowed DHS student leaders to connect with Columbia youth. School’s Out CoMo is an experiential education program offered on the days that Columbia Public Schools have teacher workdays.
“School’s Out CoMo provides an opportunity to connect University students and faculty members to youth in our community to help provide engaging out of school time activities,” said Jenny Flatt, EdD, Director of the Family Impact Center. DHS Peer Mentors designed and facilitated a full day of health related activities including a dress like a health professional relay race, medical terminology word searches, healthy eating, dental hygiene demonstration, physical health activities, personal attributes and positive self-image discussions.
Volunteers included students from a variety of SHP organizations including DHS Peer Mentors, SHP-Mizzou Alternative Breaks participants, Sigma Eta Rho and Pre-Physical Therapy Organization members. SHP student Michael Simmons said, “School’s Out CoMo was an incredible event! Interacting with local children through various games, crafts and exercises they normally do not get to do was a rewarding experience.”
MU Family Impact Center staff felt the same way. Program Director Sara Hughes said, “The enthusiastic volunteers were adored by the kids and they did an excellent job of intentionally working with each child. The kids were excited to learn and engage in activities the entire day. Several kids told the volunteers that they didn’t want them to leave! It was a positive day all-around!”