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WVU medical, education experts create project to help parents ‘look for the helpers’ during COVID-19 pandemic

A group of medical and education experts at West Virginia University is asking parents to take the advice of Mr. (Fred) Rogers and “look for the helpers” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leveraging Education To Show Gratitude of Occupations (LETS GO) aims to educate youth about a number of careers essential to combatting the virus, from epidemiologists and health officers to food service workers and custodians. The project, a collaborative effort between the WVU Department of Pediatrics and the WVU Department of Learning Sciences and Human Development, also aims to share gratitude for the essential workers. As students learn about each field, they are asked to create a card or sign, snap a photo, or write a letter to share with workers in that profession.

“This is a great opportunity to teach, as well as say thanks," Lisa Costello, MD, who helped start the program, said. "We wanted to leverage education to teach students about different occupations, their roles, and how they’re helping.

“This project is a reminder that we’re all in this together. We’re going to have to be creative and to find ways to support one another. Sharing messages of support and expressing kindness goes a long way. As a physician, I’m grateful for the outpouring of love, but we want to share that love with all the folks who are helping.”

To see "thank you" videos from local children, produced by WVU Medicine Volunteer Services, click here.