They can begin this exploration well before they embark on their senior year. Partnerships from community supporters like IUPUI make this hands-on approach possible. Educators at Perry Meridian High School have teamed with IUPUI to supplement curriculum in unique ways.
Indiana University School of Nursing students spend Wednesdays with Stephanie Kim’s English learners class and Kim Stafford’s anatomy class. It is truly a learning opportunity for our students, as well as the IUPUI students, who are enrolled in a healthy populations practicum course. The course requires aspiring nurses to go into neighborhoods to not only teach the community about the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices, but also how to incorporate healthy choices into their daily routines.
The nursing students are responsible for identifying strengths and needs within the community and then partnering with the community to implement a health promotion activity. In Mrs. Kim’s class, nursing students teach about nutrition – specifically increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables consumed each day, in addition to reducing the amount of added fat, sodium and sugar.
The Perry Meridian students were treated to a health fair where they learned about healthy alternatives to some of their favorite snacks. The nursing school partnered with the nutrition services team from the Marion County Public Health Department, which helped students make nutrient-rich green smoothies trail mix. In Mrs. Stafford’s room, nursing students supplemented the anatomy class’s content, including brain health and function.
Nursing students were also able to integrate their lessons into our Project Lead the Way curriculum, which is designed for students who are interested in studying health sciences in the future. This partnership is beneficial not only for the nursing and Perry students but also to the Perry Township community.
While nursing students are improving their communication, assessment and civic leadership skills, our students are learning how to live healthier lives and build a foundation to possibly pursue a career in health-related professions. The information our students receive will potentially be shared with their families and friends, who might also begin to incorporate healthy choices into their lives.