Placement program prioritizes pre-teen personal care


Nursing sessional instructor Katherine Beaumont and third-year students prepare personal care product donations

Nursing sessional instructor Katherine Beaumont, second from left, and third-year students Bailey Packet, Robynne Hay, Josh Taylor, Rachel Weston, Kamsiyochukwu Otue, Olivia Mouawad, and Ghadi Treki prepare personal care product donations. Absent: Mackenzie Pawluk.

The famous author, activist, and lecturer Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

For Faculty of Nursing sessional instructor Katherine Beaumont, her third-year students, and Grade 6 teachers at West Gate Public School, providing self-care teachings along with essential personal hygiene products for pre-teens in need reaffirms the idea that great things happen when you work together for a common good.

As part of the BScN students’ school health education placement program, lessons included fun and immersive games intended to engage and punctuate the importance of personal hygiene, oral health, hand washing, bathing, and self-esteem.

What started out as a small token of care products from nursing students quickly evolved to greater collaboration and included such community partners as Youth Wellness Hub, the United Way, and Windsor Goodfellows. The group donated personal health kits consisting of combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, deodorant, first-aid kits, small packets of laundry detergent, and wellness literature. In some cases, feminine products such as tampons, liners, wipes, and additional pamphlets with coupons were also included.

Students prepping kits

BScN students pose with their educational game

“Grade school children are impressionable and can form early insecurities as their bodies undergo changes,” says Beaumont. “Our message is that it’s okay and that a little education and self-care can help them overcome anxiety, boost self-esteem, and alleviate some of the social pressures they may be experiencing.”

Kimberley Mann, an outreach worker with Youth Wellness Hub of Windsor-Essex, emphasizes that connecting with adolescents and assisting them to create or positively change hygiene habits increases the chances of a life-long healthier outlook.

Leilani Logronio is optimistic to see more collaboration in school and community health education from the University in the future. Manager of labour programs and services for the United Way, she adds that the benefit becomes exponential when more partners are involved.

BScN student Josh Taylor believes his placement experience validates the reason nursing students enter the field of health care and education.

“Quite simply, I’m thankful for the opportunity to be a role model and give back to the community,” says Taylor. “We’re proud that our group was able to provide valuable health teaching and personally, I had an amazing time working with the students at West Gate Public School.”