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Johns Hopkins expands COVID-19 course for kids

Posted at 4:29 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 18:35:36-04

BALTIMORE (WMAR) — Johns Hopkins doctors and medical students are now going virtually into classrooms across the country and the world to teach kids about COVID-19.

The Region One School District in Connecticut is one that’s been using this course as part of their in-person curriculum for a month and school leaders feel like students better understand why there are certain safety protocols in place.

"When we are talking about social distancing and we’re explaining why the desks are so far apart and why they can’t all gather together, I think they have a really good foundation to understand those decisions," said Jill Pace, the interim Vice Superintendent for the district.

The Johns Hopkins-wide initiative launched back in July starting in a handful of Baltimore City schools and now...

"The curriculum and the program has just blown up literally," said Alicia Wilson, Vice President for Economic Development for Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Health System. "We’ve been contacted by 26 states and 6 different countries and we are preparing to launch COVID curriculum health education across the city of Baltimore through our public schools."

The classes are live, taught by doctors nurses and medical students. They started with 4 training modules on biology, face masks and other public health initiatives. Now they are up to 12, with a mental health module launching this month.

The goal is to teach kids about the virus, turning them into advocates as a way to stop the spread.

"Scientific information should be in the hands of the masses and our young people are a population that can do so much to save not only their lives but the lives of all whom they touch," said Wilson.

"Having the expertise of Johns Hopkins behind this program, they have such clarity, which is harder to find when you’re doing your own research and so I think that’s been a real strength is that we feel like we can ask any questions that we have. We have experts on our side who will help us answer them," said Pace.

They’re looking for nonprofits and school systems to partner with. Email them at mgg@jhmi.edu if you're interested in connecting.