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Student to student: Fair makes learning fun

(above) Dr. Patricia L. McDiarmid's and her "Organization Administration and Assessment of Health Administration" class.
By Natasha Clark

Assistant Managing Editor

LONGMEADOW Last week Glenbrook Middle School students participated in student-to-student learning. A unique health fair put on by Springfield College students highlighted a variety of interesting health facts in an interactive and fun atmosphere.

Taking place in the school's gymnasium, college students belonging to Dr. Patricia L. McDiarmid's "Organization Administration and Assessment of Health Administration" course hosted six booths varying in topic on health-related issues such as flexibility, sports injuries and the ramifications of smoking. School staff also had booths on mental health and food service.

Philippa Siegel, health educator and physical education teacher at Glenbrook, was the mastermind behind the event. An alumna of Springfield College and former student of McDiarmid's, she chose to bring together both worlds.

"This is the first time we've done something like this," she told Reminder Publications. "It's not costing anything. We're using our resources."

Seventh and eighth grade students made the rounds of each booth and at the end of their tours had to sign their names to a wall of assessment banner and write at least one thing they learned.

McDiarmid said the fair is a perfect approach to developing strong ties with the community and is a win-win situation for everyone involved.

"This has been a home run. This is such a valuable experience. If our world is going to become a better place, we have to give without saying what's in it for me," McDiarmid said, adding that the college students also get so much out of interacting with the youngsters. "This is a class night and they're going to write a reflection. It informs my teaching."

She also applauded the Glenbrook teachers and staff for letting the fair take place during class hours.

"They are willing to use their instruction time for this. [What a difference it makes] by bringing this to them at a time when it can be delivered uninterrupted," McDiarmid said. "I'm really proud of it ... The is the whole circle of life in education."

Health Fair slideshow