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Healthy pointers

Children enjoy fun activities while boosting wellness knowledge
Students in the Physical Therapy Assistant program

Students in the Physical Therapy Assistant program put their guests through an obstacle course while educating them on the importance of physical activity

Gateway students had an opportunity to put their career skills into practice Feb. 14 as they hosted a wellness event on the Kenosha Campus. More than 125 children, ages 5 to 12, from the Kenosha Boys and Girls Club visited several programs, including Dental Assistant, Nursing, Surgical Technology, Barber/Cosmetologist, Physical Therapy Assistant and Criminal Justice.

The youngsters participated in fun, hands-on activities while learning about things like good dental care, hand washing, nutrition, exercise and personal safety.

“It’s good for the children to learn how to brush and floss properly,” said Heidi Gottfried, a Dental Assistant instructor who initiated the event 10 years ago. “Plus, it gives our students an opportunity to learn how to educate the kids.”

In addition, Dr. Joseph Barta and Dr. Nana Yeboah of the Kenosha Community Health Center donated their time to give the children a free dental check-up.

Gateway Dental Assistant students Stephanie Sande of Bristol and Llogan Bloom of Kenosha were eager to share their knowledge with the children.

“This is awesome because we are reaching out to the community and showing kids what it feels like to be in a dental environment,” Sande said.

Gateway students had their guests take a Lego and Play-Doh, roll it out and then use a string, simulating flossing. They also had a station in which eggs with stains on them were brushed, demonstrating how stains can stick. Students were taught not to “sip all day” in regards to soda consumption.

“Sometimes kids don’t learn proper brushing methods,” Bloom said. “Parents may not have taught them properly and maybe kids will go home and tell their parents what they have learned here. This is great for the kids because they come here in a non-threatening environment that is having fun activities for them. So, when they go to the dentist office, hopefully they won’t be intimidated because they will now have an idea of what goes on.”

Surgical Technology students taught the children about proper hand washing techniques and pointed out the possible consequences of not practicing proper hygiene. The Physical Therapy Assistant program set up an obstacle course. Nursing students taught the children about sound nutrition practices and Barber/Cosmetologist students gave manicures. Criminal Justice students introduced their guests to the K-9 dogs and demonstrated their training and uses.