The BU PA classes of 2022 and 2023 raised $132 to provide 107 items to the Dimock Community Health Center as part of a community service project launched by students Michaela Carrier and Haley Seagroves-Robbe.

These items included 101 books for children ages zero to five and six packs of crayons. The books will be distributed to children during their clinic visits for them to take home and to encourage reading. To achieve this goal, Michaela and Haley worked with Reach Out and Read, a nonprofit early literacy organization that helps to integrate reading into pediatric care and deliver information about the importance of reading to families across the country.

The Dimock Center’s Clinical Director of Pediatrics, Dr. Samantha Baras, was excited to receive the books and expressed interest in potential future service opportunities with the BU PA Program.

“Thank you so much for this wonderful donation,” Dr. Baras said. “Sometimes, the simplest projects are the most impactful! […] Kids are already excited about our new selection! Our medical assistants are excited about being able to give crayons and coloring books to kids who are waiting.”

BU PA students were responsible for providing all the books on the second shelf and half of the books on the third shelf.

Dr. Baras also mentioned the need for other projects, like pamphlets on topics like Vitamin D sufficiency and nutrition or other small tasks in the pediatric clinic. She will reach out to other departments at The Dimock Center that may need volunteers, too.

Haley said that they “couldn’t have asked for a better outcome” from this project. Both Michaela and Haley hope to hold fall and spring book drives for The Dimock Center consistently in the future.

This book drive is just one of two projects that Haley and Michaela are planning. The second project, which they will set up within the next few months, will focus on making cards for nursing homes or Veterans Affairs sites. Both projects were encouraged by the Northeastern Regional Director of the AAPA Student Board, Erin Hillis.