PTA and OTA Students Spread Holiday CheerPosted Dec. 15, 2011
Physical therapist and occupational therapy assistant students from Kent State University at East Liverpool held their annual Christmas party at the Robert Bycroft School in Lisbon. As part of the program, $2,500 was donated by students in the physical therapist assistant (PTA) program, who raised the money by raffling off wreaths filled with lottery tickets.
“I’m a bit overwhelmed,” said Principal Cheryl McGrath, who opened the gift – a wrapped oversized check – with Superintendent William Devin. “This is amazing. It’s absolutely wonderful.”
McGrath explained that the donated monies would go toward the purchase of new equipment, perhaps in the school’s sensory room, which is filled with high-tech gadgets to help stimulate children’s senses.
Following the presentation, the Kent State students treated each class to a pizza lunch and each child received a toy. Harriett Bynum, Director of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, said that the Kent State students signed up to donate a gift. In one case, wheelchair-bound students requested hooded ponchos. Because these items are more than the nominal gift price, a few Kent State students located a poncho pattern on-line and handcrafted the garments themselves. Additional ponchos will be made during the holiday break so that each wheelchair-bound student receives one.
Second year OTA students Jim Marlow and Stacey Roberts believed the event was enjoyed by all. Marlow was especially happy to provide the students with gifts. “A lot of these kids may not be receiving gifts on Christmas, so this is a great time for them,” she said. Roberts echoed the sentiment. “I really enjoy seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter of the kids.”
Megan Reynolds, a second year student in the PTA program was excited to have the opportunity to brighten a child’s day. “It’s about giving back to the community, and having the chance to make someone’s day,” she said. “It’s great to see the kids smile and to give back to the community, in the healthcare field that’s what it’s all about.”