Missouri Foundation for Health awards grant to Cape Girardeau School District

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A grant to the Cape Girardeau School District from the Missouri Foundation for Health will create various ways to educate students in kindergarten through 12th grades on health care careers.

The school district will receive $143,366 over a three-year period to support a partnership among the school district, area hospitals and the local parks department to increase awareness of health career opportunities among students in four counties, according to a release from the foundation.

The programs funded by the grant will be administered by the Cape Girardeau and Career and Technology Center. Also receiving grants are the Bollinger County Health Center, the Madison County Health Department and SoutheastHEALTH. SoutheastHEALTH will use the grant money to expand its high school summer camp program for students interested in nursing and other health care careers.

The grant application for the school district was written by Kristy Unger and Kathleen Clayton, staff of the CTC.

"The focus of the grant is to get more students looking at and considering health care as a career choice," said Rich Payne, director of the CTC.

Unger said programs from the grant will begin as early as January.

Students in all the district's elementary schools can sign up for an after-school health care careers program, she said, where people from the community who work in health care will speak to students about their careers and students will be provided with related activities.

Students in fifth through eighth grades can participate in a similar program that will be more age-appropriate.

"Essentially what we would like to do with those is to start talking about the characteristics that are necessary for certain health care careers," Unger said.

Seventh and eighth grade students will have access to a three-day health care careers summer camp, offered twice each summer that will be similar to the camp offered by SoutheastHEALTH. At the camp, students can learn basic first aid and CPR training, hear guest speakers and participate in job shadowing, Unger said.

At the high-school level, the grant will fund a prep program for high school seniors who plan to take the Test of Essential Academic Skills, which is a test required to enter any of the health care programs offered at the CTC as well as other health care career programs in the area.

An advanced health care career exploration course will also be offered at the high school. A similar introductory course began several years ago, and the addition of the advanced course will create a track program at the high school, Unger said. Students taking the introductory and advanced courses will cover many more health care careers, she said. The courses will include field trips to hospitals.

A health care career club will also be created for students at Central High School and the 12 other high schools that are enrolled at the CTC in the certified nursing assistant courses, Unger said. The club will involve students obtaining service hours by helping with the after-school programs and summer camps.

The grant will also provide sponsorships for students to attend the summer camp held by SoutheastHEALTH for ninth through 12th grades.

Lastly, the grant money will allow Unger to create a health care careers-related guidance curriculum for all elementary, middle and high school counselors in all of the 12 districts in the CTC's service area.

eragan@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

1080 S. Silver Springs Rd., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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