Healthy, Well-thy, and Wise in Evanston, IL

For three weeks this past spring, Global Project Hope members at Northwestern University pioneered the Healthy, Well-thy, and Wise program at the Dewey Elementary School in Evanston, IL. The project used our newest iteration of the workbook and served over 30 students!

Here is a journal post by Priyanka Jadhav, one of our members at Northwestern University, to talk about the experience!

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My name is Priyanka Jadhav, and teaching this last quarter as a member of Global Project Hope proved to be one of the most interactive and immersive experiences I could have undertaken! At Northwestern, there are plenty of opportunities to provide funding for or analyze research that allows larger organizations to make an impact; however, Global Project Hope allowed me to become personally involved in improving healthcare on a local level. From the first meeting, it was clear that everyone involved in this organization was invested in making an impact, whether it be through personally teaching at Dewey Elementary School or shaping the curriculum to be relatable and interactive.

Teaching at the elementary school probably taught me more than I taught the students. As a premedical student, I’ve only really learned about the science behind leading a healthy lifestyle. Through Global Project Hope, in one sense I had the opportunity to finally experience the translational element of healthcare, to connect with students around me and to feel like I was actually making an impact in their life. The biggest takeaway from my experience was definitely the relationship I built with my students; consistently working with the same group of kids allowed for us to form a strong relationship, to the point where I saw one of my students on the weekend and she excitedly asked for me to stay and watch her chorus sing at a local park. Through those relationships, I think not only that students were more receptive to what I taught them, but also allowed them to be comfortable in vocalizing issues they didn’t usually to figures of authority, which allows for us to adapt our curriculum to focus on relevant issues.

Furthermore, I think that all of us developed a much greater recognition for the distribution of healthcare information. Two students from upper class backgrounds could recite how many servings of fruits and vegetables should be eaten a day, while one student from a lower income background frequented McDonalds for breakfast. There was a significant divide between students who practiced routine hygiene, enforced to their dismay by their “annoying parents”, and a student who hadn’t showered in three days because no one was at home to “make them.” This experience proved that just as important as research may be, equally as important is making sure that the knowledge is passed on and acted upon, as it can be quite difficult to integrate information to the broader community to make an impact. I hope to continue to work with Global Project Hope for the next few years to come, and am excited to see the impact that just a few years can make on the community around us!

 

The Global Project Hope Fellowship

We are happy to introduce our inaugural Global Project Hope Fellowship! This fellowship is for motivated, adventurous students interested in medicine, education, and travel. It manifests as a life-changing experience volunteering in medical and educational settings in Cape Coast, Ghana in December 2018. The following presentation introduces the fellowship. If you are interested or know anyone else who may be interested, please feel free to apply or ask questions! Contact us through globalprojecthopeinc@gmail.com.

PRESENTATION: The Global Project Hope Fellowship – Introductory Presentation

Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise Summer Camp

Freeport is an underserved, urban community in Nassau County with a childhood obesity rate of 16.0% and a childhood untreated tooth decay rate of 27.1%, both figures of which are reported higher among low-income families 1. With studies indicating sedentary, unhealthy lifestyles among children in the U.S. with adult-onset chronic diseases including diabetes, periodontal disease, and lung disease, Global Project Hope sought to reinforce the importance of maintaining good health and wellness among the youth so future generations can break this trend.

Thus, over the past 3 years, Global Project Hope and its volunteers conducted health education summer camps for elementary school children in Freeport, NY titled “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise,” based on our workbook of the same title. It is an interactive workbook developed with insights from health professionals that teaches lessons on bullying, nutrition, exercise, sleep, and hygiene using the story of a fictional character named Justin. There is also a companion teacher’s workbook that details how to instruct the material with various activities.

After 2 weeks of instruction on the material, the camp ended with a school-wide health fair where our students disseminate the knowledge they learned to their peers. You can see some of the pictures from the health fair here!

In our last iteration of the program, we conducted pre- and post-surveys of basic health education components to measure the efficacy of our program. The results showed that our program significantly increased the knowledge base of students on each of the modules taught. Figure 1., below, depicts these results (Talwar, 2017).

We’re excited to continue conducting the summer camp and further expanding it. If you know of a school or community who may benefit from this program, feel free to contact us here.


Figure 1. Survey results show that the students’ knowledge base on all health modules increased significantly after the Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise summer camp.

1. Nassau County Indicators For Tracking Public Health Priority Areas, 2013

The Wisdom School Project

Last month, Global Project Hope traveled to the Western parts of Guatemala to San Mateo Ixtatan, a village located deep within the mountains. There, our team visited the Wisdom School, a primary school for the village children.

Guatemala is a distinctly mountainous region, which proves to be a challenge for many villages in the mountains, such as San Mateo Ixtatan. Given the rocky and, at times, isolating landscape, access to education, technology, and even basic necessities, such as water, is harshly limited. Global Project Hope’s goal at the Wisdom School was to work to better serve these issues.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and partners, Global Project Hope was able to donate four laptops and a projector to the school, opening new pathways of teaching and education. Our team was also able to help teach students computer skills such as Microsoft Word and Paint. Each student received a 500MB flash drive so they could store their work and continue to acquire more technology-based skills.

Check out the video from the experience below!

The Pencil Project

In 2014, the Global Project Hope team raised money for “The Pencil Project”. Our aim was to buy school supplies for children of the Manav Seva Prathishthan in New Delhi, India. In particular, we made sure to provide children in the entire school with a nice, brand new pencil.