WHAT: About 200 middle-school students from San Antonio’s West Side adopt a park in their community and spend three mornings painting, weeding and cleaning graffiti. The project is intended to give kids pride in their community and raise their self-esteem so they will have the confidence to make healthier choices for themselves. It is part of the Healthy Choices for Kids program at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
WHEN: From 9 a.m. to noon on Monday, July 6; Tuesday, July 7; and Thursday, July 9.
WHERE: Vidaurri Park, 1200 Merida St. (Beside Good Samaritan Community Services)
WHO: The Healthy Choices for Kids program was created by Ruth E. Berggren, M.D., director of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics at the Health Science Center, and Adelita G. Cantu, RN, Ph.D., clinical instructor in the Department of Family Nursing Care.
More than a dozen medical, nursing and undergraduate students from the Health Science Center spend three weeks developing a curriculum for teaching adolescents to make healthy choices. Then they implement that curriculum at a day camp held by Good Samaritan Community Services.
Middle schoolers from throughout the West Side attend the day camp.
NOTES: About 100 kids will be working at Vidaurri Park at any given time during those three mornings. For assistance, reporters can call Sheila Hotchkin in the Health Science Center’s Office of External Affairs at 567-3026 or ask for Jennifer Cook from Good Samaritan Community Services on site.
In its second year, Healthy Choices for Kids is a Community Service Learning project of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics. It promotes fitness, nutrition and healthy relationships, while aiming to reduce teen pregnancy, obesity, diabetes and violence.
For more information, visit http://www.texashumanities.org/hck.cfm.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $668 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $16.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $36 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 25,600 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and other health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, dentistry and many other fields. For more information, visit www.uthscsa.edu.