Focus on Oklahoma Children’s Health

[by STLR office staff, re-posted from the Fall 2018 STLR Newsletter]

photo of Erin DangMeet Erin Dang a senior here at the University of Central Oklahoma. She is majoring in Physical Education, has been attending UCO since 2013, and she will be graduating in May of 2019 with her degree in Physical Education. She is the senator of an organization here on campus called the Physical Education Major club. Erin has worked on two Transformative Learning Projects which started in Spring 2017 and just ended this past August. Erin worked with a national health initiative called Whole School, Community, and Child (WSCC) an organization not well-known in Oklahoma but is very popular in other states. WSCC focuses on addressing the needs of the whole child encouraging schools all around the country to not only implement physical health but mental health as well.

Dr. Rachelle Franz the supervisor for this project worked with Erin to find grant opportunities for WSCC. Erin helped WSCC on their newsletter and worked on component documents for the organization. Erin also worked with OK Child which is an organization that helps combat unintentional injury affecting children preschool-age through 5th grade. Erin helped the OK Child Prevention program create lesson plans for P.E classes that teach firearm, water, severe weather and bike safety.

In addition to OK Child and WSCC, Erin worked with Dr. Stephanie Canada-Phillips, working with Shape of America, an organization that provides support to professionals specializing in health, physical education, recreation and dance. Erin is the future professions chair for the southern district for the leadership council. She is also on the council for the OAHPERD, the State Organization for Physical education, which is holding their annual convention here in Edmond in October 2018.

When asked how these projects impacted her own life, she expressed that STLR reassured her that she is going down the right career path of going into the health field. She expressed her love for physical education and hopes that physical education becomes a more known as a major. She wants to advocate mental and physical health for students, push the idea that physical activity doesn’t end in P.E class, and encourage students to stay active outside of school. She also states that the experience helped her gain leadership and networking skills and during her project she met people who will be able to help her in her career in the future.

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