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Adopt a Classroom program at Hamilton Elementary

The Global Partners Adopt a Classroom program is halfway through its second year at Hamilton Early Learning Center in La Crosse. Eleven classrooms (pre-K-5) and the Physical Education department have been generously adopted by departments at Gundersen Health System.

The purpose of this program is for Gundersen Health System departments to partner with classroom teachers to create an environment where students have the best opportunities to learn. Though the needs of each individual classroom vary, departments that adopt a classroom are encouraged to offer support for the staff, financial and material resources, and potentially even human resources to support the students' education.

All participating Gundersen departments (Internal Medicine, Critical Care, Vision Services, Pediatrics, Women's Health, Care Coordination, Family Medicine Residency, and Corporate Learning) are providing classroom resources and fostering healthy kids through their sponsorship.

Gundersen Vision Services has adopted Mrs. Erickson's and Mrs. Court's 2nd grade classrooms for the second year. Vision Services staff sign up and take turns each week to provide weekly donations of healthy snacks during the school year. Through this program, students have been exposed to new healthy foods; mango and pineapple have been some requests. After seeing consistent support by this department, one student said, "Gundersen must really care about us!" More than $500 of in-kind donations have been provided to these classrooms so far this school year.

Another department making big strides in these efforts is Women's Health. Mr. Mickschl's 4th and 5th grade classroom has benefited from this partnership for the past two years. This year, they started a pen pal project with 22 students. A "Meet Your Pen Pal" event will be held in spring. They also finished up their winter bake sale event on Thursday, Dec. 6, with proceeds to be donated to their adopted 4th and 5th grade classroom at Hamilton.

"We were overwhelmed by the support and effort of our departments – from doctors making their famous cookies and baklava to staff intricately decorating cupcakes or painstakingly putting together little plates of goodies for such a good cause," say Caren Paar and Jean Nash, senior office assistants for Women's Health in La Crosse.

Here are highlights in other Gundersen departments:

  • Care Coordination provides weekly healthy snacks for their students and helped send their 4th and 5th grade classroom to Niagara Cave for a field trip.
  • Internal Medicine provided waterproof gloves, winter hats and boots as needed for their kindergarteners.
  • Family Medicine Residency is planning to get residents involved on-site during the physical education classes at Hamilton in spring.
  • Pediatrics has donated books and healthy snacks to their 3rd grade classrooms.
  • Critical Care held a school supply drive in September and a clothing drive in December.

Global Partners is a program of Gundersen Medical Foundation.

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La Crosse, WI 54601

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