On Eve of Halloween, Touro College Visits Elementary Schools in Harlem to Educate Children About Healthy Bones

Date: November 02, 2009
Media Contact:

Barbara Franklin
Director of Communications
212-463-0400 x5530

Using Skeleton Models, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, School of Health Sciences, and College of Pharmacy Taught Students about Bone Health.

New York, N.Y. – Several schools within Touro College visited elementary students in Harlem just days before Halloween to teach the children about bone health. More than 200 students from P.S. 180 and P.S. 197 were treated to hands-on lessons about healthy bones with the help of skeleton models that are used in medical schools.

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM) instructed 80 second graders at P.S. 180 about foods rich in calcium like milk, beans, and green vegetables, the importance of exercise, and habits to avoid such as smoking. Sushama Rich, M.D., TouroCOM’s chair of anatomy, and first-year students Jessica Abruzzino and Jacquelyn English, wore Halloween costumes while educating the children.

“We value our relationships with schools in the community and it is very exciting to see children getting interested in science and health,” said Robert B. Goldberg, D.O., dean of TouroCOM. “We are committed to working with current and future osteopathic physicians who are interested in practicing in Harlem.”

TouroCOM is active in Harlem, where it starts its medical school in elementary school in order to cultivate future physicians. TouroCOM encourages young students to embrace science as part of its mission to reduce the disparity in the health care profession, and to provide students with the educational tools necessary to achieve their goals.

Nearly 140 P.S. 197 students, grades pre-kindergarten to second grade, wore white lab coats as they learned about bone health from Touro’s School of Health Sciences and Project Aspire at the third annual “Skeletons, Bones and Pint-Sized Doctors.”Dr. Deborah Williams, director of the master of science program at TouroCOM, taught the students how the skeleton protects vital organs, and how to maintain healthy bones. The students also learned about Halloween candy safety from Touro’s College of Pharmacy, and chefs from the Natural Gourmet Institute prepared calcium-rich seasonal foods.

“The children were treated to a well-rounded program that addressed several critical issues regarding their bone health,” said Nicholas A. Aiello, Ph.D., education director of Project Aspire. “They learned about proper exercise and nutrition, and important habits that will ensure they stay healthy for a long time to come.”

Project Aspire is a public health initiative of the Children’s Health Education Foundation at Touro College. Project Aspire brings real-life, interactive health education lessons and demonstrations into classrooms to encourage students to lead healthy lifestyles and to explore health careers, including becoming doctors.