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HOSA students take care of teddy bears

By Lashana Harney

Second-grader Addison waits in line with her pink teddy bear, Ellie.

Ellie has the flu, so she needs a shot, Addison said.

Scattered throughout Strode Station Elementary School’s gym, students hold their sick stuffed animals close. There are cupcakes with broken heads, dogs with broken barks and elephants who can’t stop coughing. Luckily, the George Rogers Clark High School HOSA students are there to save the day at Strode Station’s annual Teddy Bear Clinic Friday.

Between the various booths, HOSA students examined, drew blood, gave shots, performed surgery, X-rayed and provided medication to the sick stuffed animals. The Teddy Bear Clinic is for students in kindergarten through second grade while the other students attend a health fair where they learn more about preventative health care and health careers.

GRC junior Hannah Abner was drawing blood for patients throughout the day. She’s helped Koopa Troopers, Pokemon and several bears.

“This lets children see what we do in the healthcare field,” Abner said. “It gives them an idea of what to expect when they are sick, and that it’s okay, they don’t have to be scared.”

Second-grade teacher Rita Smallwood said the clinic might inspire the children to go into the health care field later on.

“Not many children I know in my classroom have parents in the healthcare profession,” she said. “I think they’re getting to see something else other than office jobs, factory jobs. It’s good for them to see that.”