Global Youth Service Day at the Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey's Horizon High School on April 24
Seton Hall University’s School of Health and Medical Sciences Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program received a $1000 UnitedHealth HEROES Grant from Youth Service America (YSA). This funding will be used to purchase equipment necessary to assess the fitness of the youth at Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey’s Horizon High School in Livingston, New Jersey. Twenty-four DPT students have been working in 4 Essex county schools with children/youth with special needs as part of their service learning commitment. On April 24 in honor of Global Youth Service Day, students of both the Horizon High School and Seton Hall University’s DPT program will come together to celebrate the progress and hard work accomplished throughout the 2009 spring semester.
The 24 DPT students consulted with the teaching and physical therapy staff at the Essex county schools and implemented a program known as Courageous Pacers. Courageous Pacers is designed to promote healthy, strong and fit lifestyles in children with movement limitations, autism, and other developmental disabilities through school-based and community-based experimental learning. With the growing population of childhood obesity, more children are prone to serious public health problems and the DPT program recognized this as an opportunity to help. These doctoral students met weekly with the children/youths in their classrooms creating strategies for implementing individualized fitness programs including flexibility, strengthening, and aerobic components of the Courageous Pacers program.
This service project impacts the community by enhancing awareness of the health and fitness potential of children with special needs. Seton Hall University students developed critical thinking skills, active engagement within a community environment and reflection on social responsibility as a health care professional.
Global Youth Service Day, the largest service event in the world, mobilizes youth to identify and address the needs of their communities through service, supports youth on a lifelong path of service and civic engagement, and educates the public about the contributions of young people as leaders. In honor of Global Youth Service Day, there will be a celebration of fitness at the Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey’s Horizon High School. Students at the high school will be participating in the “Celebrating Fitness Fun Fair” which will include games that will promote the children’s skills such as basketball shooting, soccer kicking, ring toss, dancing, bowling and more. They will demonstrate their skills while having fun with their peers and celebrating all their hard work.
Youth Service America’s (YSA) $1000 UnitedHealth HEROES grant made it possible for Seton Hall University’s physical therapy students to apply their knowledge and experience, and create an impact on today’s youth. Horizon High School serves more than 80 students ages 14-21 with multiple disabilities (younger students attend Horizon School, also in Livingston). Speech, physical and occupational therapies are incorporated into the school’s classroom setting providing for an integrated educational and therapeutic curriculum.
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School of Health and Medical Sciences