Public health goes to school
Elayne Hollinger, senior health educator, recently spent months training University of Kentucky students in Postponing Sexual Involvement (PSI) and Managing Pressures Before Marriage (MPBM) curriculum so they could educate students at Beaumont, Bryan Station, Edith J. Hayes, Winburn and Morton public schools.
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During September 2013, Elayne Hollinger began working with University of Kentucky College of Public Health students focused in health promotion and kinesiology to train them in a five-week Postponing Sexual Involvement and Managing Pressures Before Marriage curriculum. The students worked to improve their public health promotion skills and were evaluated on things like eye contact, professional appearance, behavior confidence, enthusiasm and other characteristics. After the training was complete, they went on to educate young children in various schools across Fayette County in October-December 2013.
The Best Group Ever
“What really made these students the best group ever was their professionalism, enthusiasm, dedication to teaching, being able to appreciate constructive advice in what works within the classroom and redirecting the classroom students,” Hollinger said. “The kids loved them and so did I. Many of them have a much better appreciation for the work that public health does within the community, and for the work public school teachers do on a daily basis.”
Through this training, the public health students learned how to effectively deal with sensitive topics such as sexuality and abstinence among school-aged children, an opportunity that had not previously experienced. Following the presentations, the group expressed that they truly understood the importance of having a program like PSI in the schools, and the great things that public health accomplishes in the community.
Most of the students plan to go on to become public school teachers or work in the public health field; they noted they would love to incorporate some of the same curriculum into their own classes as they begin their own professional careers.