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From left to right: Physical therapy graduate students Taylor Mayweather, Sarah Garland, Jazmine Tooles (Class of 2013), Jordan Denesik, and Erika Clary
From left to right: Physical therapy graduate students Taylor Mayweather, Sarah Garland, Jazmine Tooles (Class of 2013), Jordan Denesik, and Erika Clary

Girl Scouts learn the science of physical therapy

Photo by Jeanne Warrington

Physical therapy alumna creates Physical Therapy’s ‘Explore the Magic of Motion’ workshop for area Girl Scouts

University of Delaware alumna Jazmine Tooles has turned what was originally a student project into an annual tradition for 6th to 12th graders. UD’s Department of Physical Therapy (UDPT) invites Girl Scouts to the STAR Health Sciences Complex for a workshop about the health professions.

Connor Lingo takes a Girl Scout through a sample evaluation of blood pressure.
Connor Lingo takes a Girl Scout through a sample evaluation of blood pressure.

Working on a service-learning project as a UDPT graduate student in 2013, Tooles created a workshop called “Explore the Magic of Motion.”

“With my background as a Girl Scout — participating in, hosting events, and earning badges, I felt this would be a good way to share what we do while providing an incentive,” Tooles said. “All the way back in March 2011, I collaborated with the Girl Scouts of Chesapeake Bay to create three physical therapy badges — The Magic of Motion (6th to 8th grade), Healing through Motion (9th and 10th grade) and Healing People, Changing Lives (11th and 12th grade).”

Tooles then turned that into a five-hour workshop to help the girls earn the badges. The program teaches these Girl Scouts the importance of physical activity and the physical therapy profession. The UDPT-hosted event consists of stations that teach the girls about exercise, technology used in the field, patient and clinician experiences, how to deal with stress, and how to take blood pressure.

Physical therapy graduate students Nicole Doolen and David Smith teach a physical fitness session to Girl Scouts.
Physical therapy graduate students Nicole Doolen and David Smith teach a physical fitness session to Girl Scouts.

“Not only does it teach young girls about a new profession, it offers students an opportunity for service learning while promoting wellness and the PT profession,” Tooles said.

Tooles has expanded beyond the First State. She works for the Drucker Brain Injury Center at MossRehab in Woodbury, New Jersey. She’s hosted the event in New Jersey and hopes to push the initiative to Girl Scouts nationally. Additionally, Tooles is making a name for herself with diversity initiatives. With the support of her program director, Eileen Hartranft, she started a “Cultural Diversity Special Interest Group” at MossRehab. She is the committee chair for American Physical Therapy Association New Jersey Cultural Diversity Committee and Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association’s Minority Affairs Committee. The committees aim to increase the diversity of the profession of physical therapy as well as improve cultural competence.

“In an attempt to increase diversity, we use community outreach programs such as my Explore the Magic of Motion program,” Tooles said.

Tooles has future events scheduled for April 21 at Moss Rehab in Woodbury, with other locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to follow.

From left to right: Physical therapy graduate students Naoaki Ito, Corey Henley and Kyle Wyss show Girl Scouts a strength exercise.
From left to right: Physical therapy graduate students Naoaki Ito, Corey Henley and Kyle Wyss show Girl Scouts a strength exercise.

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