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GRENFELL MATTERS: Teddy bears bring people together

Craig Brake
Craig Brake - Contributed

For the 12th consecutive year, the Teddy Bear Clinic, taking place this Sunday, will again welcome children to bring their stuffed friends for a check-up by students of the Western Regional School of Nursing.

The Teddy Bear Clinic brings together children, their families and their teddy bears for a fun-filled, interactive, educational day of health-themed activities.

This event is organized by a group enthusiastic students and faculty who spend months planning, seeking donations, building “medical equipment” and preparing for the event. This year, students Jamie Green and Rochelle Tucker have taken the lead.

The goal of the Teddy Bear Clinic is two-fold. It provides an opportunity for our students to apply some of what they’ve learned in the classroom in a fun, non-clinical environment, and it offers the ideal setting to teach children the importance of healthy living, mental health, dental health and active lifestyle. Children and their parents/guardians are transported into a friendly medical world where we teach about foundational health concepts in a non-threatening environment. For example, a mock X-ray machine (built and donated by a local theatre props technician) will scan each child’s teddy bear.

Over the years, we estimate that we’ve assessed the health of almost 2,000 teddy bears. The success of this event earned us a Canadian Council of the Advancement of Education event award in 2015.

While this event meets many goals of the nursing program, we realize that it is valued by the entire Grenfell Campus community. For many people, attendance to Teddy Bear Clinic is their first visit to campus. We hope that events like this help to position Grenfell as an institution that is an open and welcoming member of the community.

We hope to see you at the Arts and Science atrium, Grenfell Campus, on Sunday from 2-4 p.m. Please register before you come at teddybear18.eventbrite.ca. Admission and parking are free.

Craig Brake is a nurse instructor at Western Regional School of Nursing.

******Editor's note: This article was altered to correct the date of the Teddy Bear Clinic*********

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