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Project SHARE Curriculum: Out of the Classroom

Student Health Advocates Redefining Empowerment

Culturual Programming, Museums and Exhibits

Keep your eyes open for special programs of interest in your community.  There may be speakers presenting on health disparities or healthy eating.  Find out what is happening at the local library.  Museums may have exhibits about health in art or the science of food.  During our project we were fortunate that the National Library of Medicine in Rockville, MD had a large exhibit “Native Voices: Native Peoples' Concepts of Health and Illness” that fit well into the concept of natural healing and complementary medicine.  We were able to arrange a tour.  There are also a number of exhibits available online that could be viewed in class without ever leaving the classroom.

Interacting with Health Professionals

Provide an engaging opportunity for students to explore health careers through interaction with health professionals. 
Suggested activities include:

  • Arrange a field trip to a health care facility (hospital, health clinic, pharmacy, etc.)
  • Contact local hospitals for tours or for special programs aimed at students.  The Volunteer Services Coordinator is a good place to start.
  • Consider visits to other health care facilities such as nursing homes, dental offices, physical therapy centers, etc.
  • Visit volunteer fire departments, health departments, or American Red Cross centers.

Field Trip to Pharmacy or Drug Store

Give students hands-on experience in preparing for medical emergencies by arranging for a field trip to a pharmacy or drug store. Prior to the trip, students will make lists of the items they believe belong in each of these categories:

  • Baby Medicine Cabinet
  • Family First-Aid Kit
  • Emergency Preparedness

Students will research online to find checklists already created to for each category (Red Cross, Pediatrics, CDC, etc.).  They will be divided into groups to “create” a specific kit at a drug store.  If this field trip is funded, students may locate and buy products to complete the assigned kit to either keep in the classroom or donate to a shelter.  Without funding, students may take pictures of the items and create a collage.  Remember to track the cost of the items so that students gain an appreciation for the expense involved in preparing for medical emergencies.

Organize a Student-Run Health Fair

Provide students with a hands-on outreach experience and allow for leadership development.  What better way to expose students to community health advocacy than to allow them to organize and manage a health fair at their school.   Students gain leadership in planning content, arranging for activities, identifying and contacting speakers from their community, designing promotional materials and assessing the success of the fair.     They would also gain experience in working with school administration.  Students attending the fair benefit as they learn about health and wellness from peer health advocates.

Walk Across America

Engage students as a team in a healthy activity by encouraging them to walk 10,000 steps per day. Have students pick a virtual destination within the United States that they would like to walk to. Each week, have the students record their steps as they make their way to this virtual destination.

  • Approximately 2000 steps equal one mile. (A pedometer is needed for this activity). The Walking Site provides helpful information.
  • Keep a running total of miles (steps) walked and distance to go to reach the goal.
  • Each time steps are recorded and added up, mark the progress on a United States map and create a profile of the town or city that the students "walked" to that week.   This raises awareness of the demographics of towns and cities across the country.

Welcome to Topeka, Kansas!!!

  • Demographics:
    • 76.2% White
    • 11.3% African American
    • 1.4% Native American
    • 1.3% Asian
  • Meaning: “to dig good potatoes”
  • Population: 127,473
  • Ranked 70th out of 102 counties in Kansas in terms of health outcomes
  • Key problem areas: Health status, physical and mental health days, and low birthweight
  • Smoking, obesity, and excessive drinking were also problems in Topeka and Shawnee County.

Miles Completed: 1033                             Miles To Go Until San Francisco: 1717
Steps Completed: 1,818,080                    Steps To Go Until San Francisto: 3,021,980