Brian Lara Promenade Transformation
COSTAATT Volunteers Transform the Brian Lara Promenade at the 2nd Community Engagement and Service Learning Day of the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training
The Community Engagement and Service Learning Day, an initiative spearheaded by Senator the Honourable Fazal Karim, Minister of Tertiary Education and Skills Training, is intended to inculcate a culture of service and giving back to community and nation amongst the thousands of students who annually benefit from free tuition under the Ministry’s GATE programme. At public tertiary level institutions across the country, outreach activities provide students with opportunities for real world application of classroom learning, while strengthening their sense of social responsibility.
Minister Karim commended faculty, students and staff of the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago (COSTAATT), who welcomed close to 500 members of the public to the 2nd annual COSTAATT Volunteers Health and Wellness Fair on Friday March 14th 2014. Visitors to the Brian Lara Promenade, Port of Spain availed themselves of the many services provided by the College which included a variety of free basic health tests, information on proper foot health-care and dental-oral hygiene, and sound environmental practices.
Approximately 100 student volunteers, faculty and staff from COSTAATT’s School of Nursing, Health and Environmental Sciences as well as staff of the College’s Health Sciences Research Institute (HESRI), spent the day attending to a constant stream of patrons. A range of tests, including blood glucose, lipid profile (cholesterol), blood type, blood pressure and body mass index, was administered by skilled trainee nurses and medical laboratory technologists, under the watchful eyes and guidance of their lecturers, clinical instructors and other staff who all participated in this collaborative effort.
Final year B.Sc. General Basic Nursing student, Marlene Sharpe, said that the day represented an opportunity to put all that they have learnt into practice. “It’s good being able to see people benefiting from the training and skills we learn at COSTAATT. I think it’s a privilege to give back and I feel that we are genuinely providing a service that benefits our nation.”
One elder member of the public commented on the initiative saying, “I think this is a great opportunity to get people involved in being more health conscious. I also appreciate that it is a free service which was brought to us instead of us having to go to a typical health facility.”
Dr. Gillian Paul, acting President of COSTAATT, was again delighted that so many members of the public were able to benefit from the services offered through the Health and Wellness Fair. Noting that the Fair was one of COSTAATT’s premier events which tangibly demonstrated the College’s motto of “transforming lives, communities, the nation…one student at a time”, Dr. Paul indicated that the College would strive next year to extend the Fair to other locations across the country.