The children at Morning Star School, a special needs school in Orlando, have access to a colorful, new clinic and a collection of health and wellness programs, thanks to a grant made by the Winter Park Health Foundation in the name of Mary Rumberger, a long time school supporter who passed away last year.
Ms. Rumberger had been a member of the Morning Star Auxiliary for many years and served as its president from 1992-94. And her passion and concern for the well-being of children spilled over into her work as a trustee for the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF). This led fellow WPHF trustees to direct funds toward the creation of the Mary Rumberger Healthy Kids Clinic at Morning Star School.
Dedicated in a ceremony including trustees and school and community leaders, the clinic is equipped to handle minor aches and pains, headaches and the need for a little down time. In addition, arrangements have been made so students in need of more advanced care also now can get it through the nurse practitioner at the school-based health center at nearby Edgewater High School.
WPHF grant funds also are being used to cultivate teaching gardens to develop gardening skills among students and encourage healthy eating. They also are being used to develop a demonstration kitchen where students, staff and parents can learn how to prepare and cook healthy meals.
In addition, some funds will be used by Morning Star to provide lessons on healthy habits in the classroom. Staff members are working with the Nemours Children’s Hospital’s Florida Prevention Initiative team to modify Nemours’ Healthy Habits for Life curriculum to fit this special-needs student population.
“Mary loved children—and she had a special spot in her heart for the children at Morning Star School,” said Debbie Watson, WPHF Vice President. “We thought making this health-oriented investment at the school would be a most appropriate way of honoring and remembering her dedication to and delight in these children.