OTA Students Complete Community Beautification Project
Students of the Kent State University at East Liverpool Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program showed off their green thumbs for the fifth consecutive year and got their hands dirty by joining forces with the East Liverpool Garden Club to weed, mulch, trim and edge the green serpentine area off St. Route 30 near Kent State East Liverpool.
Through the annual project, students learn the importance of community involvement and commitment. They analyze the physical, psychological, social and sensory involvement that gardening offers and are able to realize how to use gardening as a therapeutic intervention with occupational therapy services.
Kathy Swoboda, lecturer in the OTA program believes it is important to volunteer in the community. “As a class, we look to help others and the East Liverpool Garden Club has been an organization that we reach out to annually,” she said. “The serpentine garden welcomes many to the city of East Liverpool and many of our students make the daily drive down St. Route 11 to our unique campus and pass right by it. The garden has little to no impact until they put their hands on it by tending to the plants. Then, there is pride and ownership.
“The garden welcomes them during the spring and summer months; they watch the fall leaves cover over it; and they take notice when their cohorts have ‘spruced’ it up for graduation,” Swoboda continued. It becomes part of the experience of becoming a Kent State East Liverpool graduate. In this experience, we give back to the community by showing that we care.”
Bethany Zirillo, 330-382-7430, bgadd [at] kent.edu