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Neuroscience students “Feed Our Brains” through elementary, middle school outreach program

Neuroscience students “Feed Our Brains” through elementary, middle school outreach program

Students in the Department of Neuroscience at the West Virginia University School of Medicine are leading a campaign to raise money to pay off overdue student lunch balances at schools in the greater Monongalia area.

The “Feed Our Brains” campaign is part of a larger outreach program aiming to teach elementary and middle school aged kids about neuroscience. WVU students plan neuroscience-related games and activities that help the children learn about their brains, and how food is important for typical brain development and function.

“Tiffany Petrisko and I set out to broaden the beneficial impact of our community outreach program,” Elizabeth Engler-Chiurazzi, research assistant professor in neuroscience, said. Petrisko is a graduate student in the neuroscience program.

“We identified childhood hunger as a critical issue facing our state that has profound impacts on brain development and academic performance,” Engler-Chiurazzi said. “To date we have raised more than $2,500. This allowed us to recently make a $1,000 contribution to Monongalia County Schools, and we hope to make additional larger contributions in the future.”

As part of their donation, the neuroscience department hosted a Brain Day for approximately 100 fifth-graders in Monongalia County. Students had the opportunity to learn about the nervous system, the function of a brain cell and how the food we eat impacts our brain health.

Those interested in supporting “Feed Our Brains” may make a gift through the WVU Foundation. For more information on the campaign, contact Erica Stewart.