Partnership with Harvard-Kent Elementary School

MGH Institute of Health Professions and Harvard-Kent Elementary School in Charlestown have created a formal partnership intended to improve pupils’ literacy skills and health while increasing opportunities for MGH Institute graduate students to learn about the needs of elementary school children. Below are some of the programs and activities that we are engaging in.

Grant to Improve Literacy

RSM grant

A grant received from the Charlestown office of accounting firm RSM will leverage the MGH Institute’s literacy expertise and research to help provide children at Harvard-Kent Elementary School with the support and resources to succeed in school and in life. Dr. Tiffany Hogan, director of the MGH Institute’s Speech and Language Literacy (SAiL) Lab, and post-doctoral fellow Dr. Rouzana Komesidou will lead a three-year grant to implement a long-term initiative at the Charlestown public school with one of the highest rates of economically disadvantaged students and one of the highest rates of English learners in Boston. Read more.



Summer Reading Program

Joanna Christodoulou

The Harvard-Kent Elementary School Summer Program has partnered with Dr. Joanna Christodoulou and her lab members in the Brain, Education, and Mind (BEAM) Lab to design, implement, and evaluate summer programming for students in early elementary school grades. The Summer Program partnership between Harvard-Kent and the MGH Institute's BEAM Lab has been supported with funding from Boston Public Schools. CSD clinical faculty have supervised roughly 60 graduate students as they gained training and experience in assessments and instruction related to language and literacy. Over 180 Harvard-Kent students have participated to date. The partnership goal is to promote reading success for learners who can benefit from summer reading intervention to promote reading growth and avoid summer learning loss.



Clinical Rotations

  • Community health nursing students provide weekly guided lessons on health-related activities for students grades K-2.
  • Nursing students provide Nurse for the Day activities for grades 2 and 5 at the Sanders IMPACT Practice Center.
  • Nurse practitioner students provide basic physical and nutritional lessons to fifth graders.
  • Physician Assistant students provide weekly physical exercise instruction to grades K-2.
  • OT students provide mindfulness lessons and organize a school-wide annual fair focusing on diversity in science.
  • PT students provide physical health and strengthening exercises during the school day as well as weekly school-wide Zoom lessons in health-related activities to second graders.
  • Genetic Counseling students provide small weekly group direct instruction in science-based activities.
  • CSD students provide academic support in language and literacy two days per week.

Partnership with Ruth Sleeper Nursing Center for Clinical Education and Wellness

Harvard-Kent is a community partner of the MGH Institute’s Ruth Sleeper Nursing Center for Clinical Education and Wellness at the Dr. Charles A. and Ann Sanders IMPACT Practice Center. The Sleeper Center has helped develop a health education curriculum for Harvard-Kent students. In addition, the Center runs a popular annual "Nurse for the Day" program that brings Harvard-Kent students on campus to see nursing students in action using the IHP's cutting-edge technology and equipment. Read more.

Big Buddies and Teddy Talks

The IHP launched two programs to assist Harvard-Kent students and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. IHP Big Buddies matches IHP students with a buddy at Harvard-Kent Elementary to spend one-to-two hours per week meeting virtually to do games, arts and crafts, reading, or other activities to assist in education and give parents a break. Teddy Talks give IHP students the opportunity to develop, record, and post a short Ted-Talk-style presentation for children on the IHP’s YouTube channel. If you are an IHP student interested in either program, applications are still being accepted for both IHP Big Buddies and Teddy Talks.

Annual Community Day

Students take part in a variety of activities and improvement projects at Harvard-Kent during the MGH Institute’s annual Community IMPACT Day, a day of service where students from all disciplines volunteer at nonprofits across the city. This year, over 100 students provided small group instruction in topics such as health, fitness activities, and arts and crafts. Read more.

Annual Earth Day Celebration

Faculty from the School of Nursing's Center for Climate Change, Climate Justice, and Health lead an annual Earth-Day-themed workshop for fifth graders. This year, students watched a short video on climate change and took part in a group discussion afterward. They then completed a climate-change-focused coloring activity and heard from several IHP faculty on why climate change is such a crucial topic for their age group to learn and care about. Read more.

Annual Holiday Party Fundraiser

Faculty and staff once again stepped up in a big way at the annual Holiday Party to raise a total of $3,439.50 for Harvard-Kent, this time to support the new Center for Youth Wellness. The new Center offers indoor fun and interactive activities for Harvard-Kent students. Institute employees also held a donation drive at the event for toys, books, and games for the Center.