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March, 2015

A hands-on day of healthy living

By Gena Checki

Kenosha Boys and Girls Club visit Gateway Dental program

Children from the Kenosha Boys and Girls Club learned the importance of hand washing.

Gateway students got a chance to share health and wellness information with the community at the Boys and Girls Club of Kenosha Health and Safety Fair held in February. Topics included exercise, nutrition, oral health and hand washing.

The event is very valuable for students, said Heidi Gottfried, instructor for the Dental Assistant program.

“It gives students an opportunity to participate in community service events and it also gives students the opportunity to showcase their skills with those members,” Gottfried said.

Members of the Boys and Girls Club of Kenosha also benefited from the event by learning about the different programs at Gateway and by doing a variety of hands-on activities with Gateway students. In all, 120 children participated in the event.

Haley Hartsfield, a student leaning toward study in the Dental Assistant program, participated in the event to give back to the community and to share what she is learning with the children. Hartsfield said the event helped prepare her for real life.

“I have to give instructions to my patients on good oral health and this has helped prepare me by teaching kids about oral health and nutrition,” she said. Hartsfield also helped with charting, which is reporting if children have missing teeth or tooth decay. It lets their parents know if they need additional work done.

Hartsfield encourages other health care students at Gateway to take part.

“It’s very fun to work with the kids and it’s a fun way to do community service,” she said.

Throughout the day, many fun and educational activities were arranged for the children. The Nursing program educated children about healthy snacking and creating a healthy food plate. The Surgical Technology program taught children about proper hand washing and even gave them their own surgical masks to take home. The Pharmacy Technician program taught the children how pharmacy technicians count pills and children even got to learn how to fill capsules with medicine (flour). Cosmetology students offered mini manicures.

Other activities included Physical Therapist Assistant students setting up an obstacle course for the children to demonstrate that exercise can be fun. Children participated by doing jumping jacks, competing in a three-legged race and competing in a wheelbarrow race.

Lastly, the Criminal Justice program brought in two police officers and a dog from their K-9 unit to show how a trained animal assists them in their job. Demonstrations included how the dog would attack a criminal and how the dog protects its handlers.

Life is Big. Be Prepared.