Exploring Our World: Phitness in Philadelphia


Exploring Our World: Phitness in Philadelphia


Publication Date


Community Partner

Lee Cultural Center, Camp Uplift

Community Preceptors

Paulette Copeland-Bolton, MEd

Academic Preceptors

Oliver Bullock, DO, Ronald Allen, MHA, Joanne Behm, MSS


Philadelphia, PA


Physical Activity and Fitness, Heart Disease and Stroke, Oral Health, Injury and Violence Prevention, Nutrition and Weight Status


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health Education and Promotion


Project Summary, Goals and Activities

The student interns aimed to create a fun and educational environment for the neighborhood children of West Philadelphia. Through the use of crafts, games, recreation and weekly field trips the interns exposed the campers to various health, nutrition and fitness issues. Fitness was a focus of the interns, who facilitated up to 25 hours of outside physical activity and 5 hours of swimming per week. The Interns generated conversation and action to educate the children and prevent the issues surrounding bullying.

  • To create a fun and educational environment
  • To generate an interest in health and nutrition
  • To educate and prevent bullying
  • To provide summer recreation for school age children
  • Allowed the children to participate in up to 25 hours of outside physical activity
  • Another 5 hours per week were spent swimming
  • Engaged in group yoga classes as well as high intensity interval training working
  • At least one educational trip was provided per week to let the children explore the human body and the world around them in the City of Philadelphia
  • The children explored The Franklin Institute, Playdrome Bowling Alley, Rolling Thunder Skating Rink, The Mutter Museum, The Dell Music Center, Dorney Park, and the Philadelphia Zoo
  • Fitness, anatomy, health and nutrition activities were conducted periodically throughout the summer
  • The children constructed edible hearts while exploring blood flow throughout the body
  • Brain hats were crafted to demonstrate to the children nervous system anatomy
  • The children engaged in oral health activities and learned the importance of healthy hygiene

Personal Statements

“BTG has further exposed me to the issues which plague impoverished communities and how these communities differ within a city as compared to a rural setting. This experience has also cultivated a deeper understanding of just how hard it is to implement change with limited resources. While, my influence may have only been minimal this summer I am glad to have had the opportunity to better understand these issues through first hand experience. I hope that this experience enables me to be more culturally competent and a better advocate for my patients.” -Sarah Kleinle

“My work with BTG this summer has truly been an eye-opening experience. I was eager to bring a sense of new light and energy to the Lee Cultural Center. Despite limited resources and cultural disparities, we had an amazing summer together learning about ourselves and each other. By facilitating leadership skills, healthy lifestyle changes and a sense of community, we were able to form a safe learning environment for the children. I believe wholeheartedly that my work this summer with BTG has provided me with a new dimension of compassion and cultural awareness for my future patients.” -Maura McCarthy

Exploring Our World: Phitness in Philadelphia