FORT KENT, Maine – On December first, the University of Maine at Fort Kent nursing department hosted a Pediatric Health Fair at the UMFK Sports Center. Over four-hundred and fifty children from surrounding communities, kindergarten to grade six, attended the event which showcased thirty-six booths of varying health and wellness topics appropriate for children.
The booths were led and developed by nursing students and community organizations. Each student worked with a field expert to guide them in the right direction for the latest and most up-to-date information for that particular discipline. These collaborators helped students engage in professional communication, interdisciplinary teamwork, and networking.
Many of the booths were interactive, providing a quick learning activity run by nursing students to engage the children, with the added bonus of allowing elementary teachers a well deserved break. With two tracks and students rotating through each booth every 4.5 minutes, booth facilitators were able to capture and maintain the children’s attention on each topic to provide meaningful health education for the students of the St. John Valley.
“Our nursing students put a lot of time, effort, and energy not only into their projects, but also in meeting with their professional collaborators to present evidenced based materials that met Maine State Learning requirements for our elementary school educators as well,” said Stephanie Nadeau, UMFK Clinical Placement & Testing Coordinator, adjunct faculty, and organizer of the event.
This was the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic that the university hosted the event.
“It was so nice to have people back on the UMFK campus and to watch the nursing students interacting with the pediatric population,” said Nadeau, “The smiles were endless!”
The event provided meaningful contact hours for UMFK Nursing students and addressed professional collaboration, health education, and interaction with the pediatric population. It allowed students to explore the importance of being nurse educators for patients, whether it is for the community, a single patient, or a larger entity like the school-aged population. It also provided area children a fun and interactive way to learn important health information. There was even a surprise visit from Benny the Bengal.
”The event was a great success and had a huge impact on the students and the pediatric population,” said Nadeau.
To learn more about UMFK’s Nursing programs, visit umfk.edu/academics/programs/