GREAT FALLS — Every Monday, kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Cascade County get to hang out with medical school students from Touro University as they learn about sports science by playing games.
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“We have a club called the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine,” Alise Adornato, a first-year medical student at Touro, said, “And I'm the vice president of that club. And through that, we just want to interact with the community and play sports with…just any community group.”
Touro realized that the club could positively impact the community they recently became a part of in August.
“Touro Med contacted me and they asked if we could do a collaboration,” Delainie Hall, director for Boys and Girls Club of Cascade County said, “A partnership for them to come in and play sports with the kids.”
Now, kids at the Boys and Girls Clubs get to spend time with their older friends, who are playing fun, active games with them.
“The kids are on their best behavior when they come in,” Hall said, “when Touro comes in, they know that when they're here in the building, that they get to participate in the gym activity and not their normal, you know, our routine.”
Having someone to look up to is incredibly impactful on the kids, and although the program is new, relationships are already being formed.
“It's just very rewarding to kind of be that big sister to them and some sort of, I guess, example for things maybe they can do,” Adornato said, “Or maybe they've never heard of being a doctor or [heard of] medical fields and then they meet us, and we're normal people that are doing that, and maybe it'll teach them that they can do it too.”
The kids love the time they get with the medical students and appreciate having even more people they can look up to and learn from in their lives.
“That's just what we want to be,” Hall said, “We want to be a safe place for those kids to make sure that they know that they have somewhere to go.”
The program is very popular at the Boys and Girls Club, and the relationships being built are strong and impactful to both the students and kids alike.
More info on the Boys and Girls Club of Cascade County can be found on their website, or by calling them at 406-761-1330.