MGH Institute of Health Professions and Harvard-Kent Elementary School in Charlestown have 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. 

Harvard-Kent Activities

Below are some of the programs and activities that we are engaging in.

A grant received from the Charlestown office of accounting firm RSM leverages 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. 

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.

  • 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.
  • 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.

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. 

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. More than 100 students provide small group instruction in topics such as health, fitness activities, and arts and crafts. 

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.

Volunteer staff visit K1 classes weekly to read stories based on the themes they are learning.

Based on lessons and activities taught for capstone projects, during a six-week period, students learn about nutrition, hygiene, sleep, mental health, and the body structure. Harvard Kent students do follow-up visits at the IPC for interactive activities. 

Volunteer PT students, under the supervision of staff, provide developmental activities for K1 and K2 students in the gym once a week through September through May. 

During the fall semester, OT students completing their community service projects, spend 5 to 7 weeks demonstrating and teaching lessons, including physical and mental health talks. 

The Institute staff and students participate in the Harvard Kent Annual Health and Wellness Night. The faculty provide information to the parents while the graduate students supervise and participate in activities with the kids and their families.