“Are you smarter than a 5th grader”


Since the summer of 2011, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB) students from the Minority Student Association have provided tutoring and mentoring services to more than 40 children at Riverview Gardens.  The eight KCUMB students participate in the tutoring program each week, providing one-on-one mentoring to the Riverview youth every Thursday evening.  The students have contributed approximately 160 hours each week since July 2011 and they also purchase their own supplies and materials for the tutoring program. 

The program has grown and expanded since first beginning last summer.  Starting as a project to work with youth in the community, the Riverview Tutoring program quickly became a passion for the KCUMB students.  Touched by the need that they found and the impact they realized they could make, the first and second year medical students developed a summer curriculum, including creative playtime activities, and established a more formal educational program at the beginning of the academic year to supplement classroom learning and provide homework assistance.   They also have started adding information on healthy lifestyles.  They have received many accolades for their contributions, including being recognized by the Mayor’s Office of Kansas City, Missouri in September last year for their meritorious contributions to serving urban youth in Kansas City.

Most recently, the KCUMB students coordinated a fundraising event on the school campus entitled, Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?   The event played off of the popular television game show.  The students recruited University faculty as game show contestants, who went head-to-head with the youth from Riverview Gardens to participate in a lively and fun campus-version of the game show.  There was an overwhelming positive response in the event, with five teams of medical faculty participating and five teams of residents.  And what was the outcome of whether these doctors were smarter than 5th graders?  The surprise was the far superior abilities of the youthful participants who came out on top, beating their decidedly older and better educated competition.  They were given Certificates of Achievement and are pictured here beaming with pleasure. 

The event was a unique opportunity for the residents to visit a college campus and for the students to showcase the tutoring program to recruit more students to continue the program next year when some of the students will move on to clinic studies. 

Lastly, the students have expressed how thankful they are for the experience of working with our young residents.  At the end of the school term, they sent a thank-you letter to the Housing Authority signed by all the students for the opportunity to work with the young residents.   Last Thanksgiving they presented a Thanksgiving dinner to all the young students and their parents complete with all the trimmings.  A surprise visitor was Dr. Robert Weaver, the President of the University, who came to Riverview Gardens with his wife to celebrate with the students. 

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