Outreach, Students

Students Host Workshop to Teach Families About Healthy Living

Five North Carolina Schweitzer Fellows representing the UNC-Chapel Hill Schools of Dentistry and Medicine presented a workshop Oct. 14 to offer ideas on healthy habits.

The event was for families whose children attend Learning Together, a nonprofit organization in Raleigh dedicated to providing innovative and culturally diverse learning experiences and support for children with disabilities, children who are typically developing and their families. About 20 families, including between 10 and 15 children, attended the workshop.

Student fellows leading the program were Nurica Good and Avni Patel, fourth-year dental students; and medical students Kerry Colby, Courteney MacKuen and Amy Marietta.

The event focused on three aspects of a healthy lifestyle:

  • Stress management and relaxation: Simple techniques included basic breathing and stretching exercises to cope with stress and anxiety.
  • Eating healthy on a budget: Included in the talk were tips on making nutritious and relatively inexpensive meals and snacks, as well as a general discussion on nutrition.
  • Taking care of your teeth: This talk explored the relationship between oral health and overall health, healthy eating, normal tooth eruption patterns and good brushing techniques for children.

“It was very rewarding to see the children become so excited about brushing their teeth, and it was also very rewarding to see the parents so involved in their children’s welfare,” Patel said.

The North Carolina Schweitzer Fellows Program, inspired by the life and ideals of Dr. Albert Schweitzer, provides students with an opportunity to help those whose needs are not currently met by the health-care system.