Teaching and learning go hand-in-hand. That’s the idea at the core of education initiatives across Partners HealthCare institutions, and the driving force behind the longtime relationship between MGH Institute of Health Professions graduate school and Harvard-Kent Elementary School in Charlestown. There, MGH Institute graduate students in its speech-language pathology program have long worked to acquire the clinical experience they need through rotations focused on students’ reading skills. And it’s the site of a newly formalized partnership that will continue to yield important benefits for graduate and K-5 elementary students alike.

The formal partnership, announced in March, will build on a collaboration that brings close to two dozen MGH Institute speech-language pathology students to Harvard-Kent for upward of 150 hours’ clinical training. They work with pupils who have reading and other communication disorders, developing strategies not only to help them navigate those disorders and the classroom environment, but also the day-to-day rewards and challenges of working with people from diverse backgrounds. In return, the young students benefit from enhanced learning.

As part of the formalized partnership, the MGH Institute has hired a part-time coordinator to manage the program and identify new ways the schools and community can achieve mutual benefits. Other areas of partnership to date have included a mindfulness course delivered by a MGH Institute occupational therapy faculty member for Harvard-Kent teachers and pupils, an annual community day of service, and a summer literacy program that will continue this summer, with measurement of its impact planned for this second year.

“While we are excited about the ways we have collaborated to date, we know there is so much more these two great educational organizations can achieve together because we have similar missions,” says MGH Institute President Paula Milone-Nuzzo. “This is just the beginning.”

Read more on the partnership here.

Topics: Community Partnerships, Academic Medical Centers, Clinical Training

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