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Media Memo: Nursing students to lead health program Feb. 19 at elementary schools

TO: News/Assignment Editors

FROM: Judy Berthiaume, Director, News Bureau

DATE: Feb. 16, 2009

SUBJECT: Nursing students to lead health program Feb. 19 at elementary schools

Thirty-nine UW-Eau Claire nursing majors will join students from two Eau Claire elementary schools this week at health fairs where they will share their expertise about healthy habits and lifestyle changes.

The UW-Eau Claire students will be at Longfellow Elementary School and Sam Davey Elementary School from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 19.

Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend the Thursday sessions. UW-Eau Claire nursing students involved in the project will be available to talk with reporters just before (8:30-9:20 a.m.) and just after (10:30-11:30 a.m.) the health fairs at both sites.

Thursday's presentations at the elementary schools are the result of a program that paired university nursing students with students enrolled in the gifted and talented programs at area middle schools. The university students served as mentors to the middle school students as they worked together to create activity projects about health that could then be presented to elementary school students.

The project's goal was to develop practical, innovative strategies and techniques for delivering messages about healthy living habits children can use in their daily lives.

All students seeking bachelor-of-nursing degrees at UW-Eau Claire are required to create a health-related teaching/learning project because teaching about health is a vital component of the role of registered nurses. Bringing gifted and talented middle school students into the discussion offered a way to add fresh ideas and new perspective to the projects. Introducing gifted and talented young people to the field of nursing is a secondary goal of the project.

The UW-Eau Claire nursing department faculty and the Eau Claire Area School District gifted and talented program resource teachers who collaborated in the planning process have been invited to present the project at the 20th International Nursing Research Congress on Evidence-Based Practice this summer in Cancun, Mexico.

For more information about the project, contact Dr. Lee-Ellen Kirkhorn, associate professor of nursing and a registered nurse, at 715-836-5005 or kirkholc@uwec.edu, or Karen Maddox, associate professor of nursing and a pediatric nurse practitioner, at 715-836-2153 or maddoxke@uwec.edu.

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