During the spring and summer months, Ross campuses enjoy their opportunities to positiviely impact their community while other organizations take a break. This spring, the Ross campus in Roosevelt Park, Michigan set out to help with the youth in their community. The Roosevelt Park Campus Director, Lisa Picard, Assistant Campus Director of Education, Rhiannon Daszko, and students Trentnie Boyles, Sara Torrey, Kimberly Plouhar, and Brooke Leeball volunteered to partner with a local Muskegon afterschool program to engage the students in a campaign to stay healthy.
Project STAAR is a 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program whose primary focus is to provide expanded academic enrichment opportunities for students during the hours they aren’t in school. This initiative is an important part of the No Child Left Behind Act. It allows time for students to add to and expand upon their academic lessons of the school day. It also gives them the chance to learn new skills and find new opportunities after the regular school day has ended. The 21st CCLC initiative is the only federally funded source dedicated exclusively to after school programs.
While there, Lisa, Rhiannon, and their group of volunteers were able to teach the children in grades Kindergarten through sixth about the importance of handwashing. Utilizing the “Glo Germ” materials used in the Medical Assistant class to show kids how they “thought” they washed their hands was exciting and insightful as they began to inspect what did not come off as they examined their hands with the black light.
In addition, healthy eating and dental care was a topic of discussion, much to the delight of the Dental Assistant program students. The “ewww…gross!” comments were frequent as the Ross team showed them what cavities looked like and how much sugar was contained in certain products.
Project STAAR of Muskegon currently services four elementary sites: Marquette, Moon, Nelson, and Oakview. With a program-wide emphasis on academic enrichment. They are deliberate with their program design in order to provide tutorial services and enrichment activities that help students meet local and state academic standards in subjects such as reading and math as well as offer literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.
“To be able to share our knowledge with the children, we are planting seeds for not just their future but even our own as they begin to grow into productive members of society,” shared Lisa Picard, Campus Director at Ross in Roosevelt Park. “In addition to the primary focus of academic enrichment, Project STAAR offers youth a broad array of developmental activities designed to advance student achievement in the following areas: Art and Music, Technology Education, Drug and Violence Prevention, Character and Personal Development, Recreation Activities and College and Career Preparation. We talked about potential medical careers with some of the students as we educated them on healthy living. It was great to be involved with the children and Project STAAR.”
To learn more about Project STAAR and how you can get involved, visit their page of the Muskegon Public Schools website.