110 Young Harlem Students Examine Skeletons and Bones at 2nd Annual Public Health Initiative with Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine

Date: October 31, 2008
aculty and students from Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine on 125th Street in Harlem educated students at P.S. 197 in Harlem about nutrition and bone health at the second annual
aculty and students from Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine on 125th Street in Harlem educated students at P.S. 197 in Harlem about nutrition and bone health at the second annual "Skeletons, Bones, and Pint-Sized Doctors.”
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Touro’s Project Aspire Encourages Students to Explore Health Careers.

New York, N.Y. – More than 100 enthusiastic students at P.S. 197 in Harlem, grades pre-kindergarten to first grade, donned white lab coats and had hands-on access to teaching model skeletons and bones including skulls, legs, arms, and fingers to learn about bone health from Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine at the second annual “Skeletons, Bones and Pint-Sized Doctors.” The students participated for the second year in Project Aspire, a public health initiative of the Children’s Health Education Foundation at Touro College.

Project Aspire brings real-life, interactive health education lessons and demonstrations into schools to encourage students to lead healthy lifestyles and to explore health careers, including becoming doctors. On Halloween, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine’s students and professors taught students at P.S. 197 about building strong bones, healthy nutrition, and the importance of exercise.

“It is our mission to get young children in our community excited about science and careers in medicine, said Robert Goldberg, D.O., dean of the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM), which is located on 125th Street in Harlem. “By providing them with access to free education about nutrition and health, and presenting it in a fun and accessible method like we did today, we instill a sense of curiosity and confidence that they can one day have a career in medicine.”

Added Nicholas A. Aiello, Ph.D., education director for Touro College’s Project Aspire: “Our second Annual Halloween Special Assembly at P.S. 197 was an incredible success. This year Project Aspire expanded to include first graders, and we had many more students participate. They were eager to wear their white lab coats, and the faculty and students from TouroCOM served as great role models to get the children enthusiastic about learning about healthy living and careers as health professionals, including becoming doctors when they grow up.”

The children held bones in their hands and were asked to match them in the right place on the teaching model skeletons stationed throughout the auditorium. The students also interacted with TouroCOM faculty and students in a game called “Mr. Skeleton Says,” a game like “Simon Says” where the children were asked to identify their knees, shoulders, elbows and other bones in their bodies.

After the hands-on program, the young students continue learning about anatomy, health, and nutrition in the classroom, from curriculum created in partnership by Project Aspire staff, P.S. 197 educators, and TouroCOM faculty. The curriculum is consistent with New York State performance standards in science, mathematics, English language arts, art, health, and physical education. The lesson plan is designed to reinforce what the students have learned and ensures continuity in their health education, as well as their interest in future careers as health professionals.