"It goes beyond the theory we teach in our courses, and allows students to actually put in practice some of the things they reading and learning about in class. Whether it’s measurement of children, assessment of various health and fitness parameters, they become expert in that. And I think these will be good lifelong career skills for a number of our students."
The Kin Kids program, run by professor Angelo Belcastro in Kinesiology, allows undergraduate students to lead local school children in play-based collaborative games, designed to increase physical activity and therefore physical health. After a successful semester at Driftwood Community Centre, and a summer program at Gosford Elementary School, the Kin Kids program is moving to St. Wilfrid, where Kinesiology students will be working with gym classes.
"There is a lot of room to grow. There is the physical activity aspect, and there is also the education and nutrition aspect that I would like to see developed even more, which requires other partnerships in the university. It’s important to me to find creative ways to bring others in to build capacity in the community."
-Jasmine Surkari, Driftwood Community Centre
As the children participate in this program, they are evaluated by students from various kinesiology undergraduate courses. While doing the evaluation, students learn about phyiscal assessment and various health parameters. What this means is that undergraduate students are given the opportunity to practice research and assessment skills, while the kids and parents are given valuable information about their health and well being.
As the program moves into its third year, there is excitement about where it might go next.