“When I Grow Up I Want to be a Doctor”: Promoting Atikamekw Children’s Interest for Health Professions Through a Book Collection
Communication, présentation / Paper, Presentation
Introduction: Aboriginal peoples are underrepresented within the healthcare professions, and recruitment of Aboriginal students has become a priority for medical schools in Canada. Because of very low high-school completion rates among youth living on-reserve, the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Medicine launched in 2011 the Mini-école de la santé, a program where health sciences students visit aboriginal schools. Through activities and games, students introduce children to the discovery of health professions. In 2014, the Health Library joined the project with the development of a science books collection for the school libraries and by having a librarian participate in the school visits. Description: In collaboration with the two Atikamekw elementary schools to be visited in 2014, 70 children books on science, human anatomy and the health professions were selected and purchased for each school by the Health Library. A librarian joined the health sciences students during the schools visits and the book collection was integrated in the activities organised during the day. The books were afterwards donated to the school library. Outcomes: Children, school teachers and administrators greatly appreciated the collection. The books were integrated in the library school collections or in the classrooms collections. Discussion: Quality school libraries play an important role in student learning, and access to science and health sciences books could enhance children‘s interest for the health professions. By participating in this project, the library is supporting the Health sciences faculties in achieving their goal of reaching out to Aboriginal children and making them aware that a career in health sciences is possible for them. The collaboration has been successful and will be pursued: the Health library will work with the high schools in the same Atikamekw communities to develop science book collections and the schools will be visited in 2015. A Masters in Library and Information Science student will be joining the Mini-école. Upgrading all donated collections is planned as well.
Clar, Monique; Drouin, Éric; Seminaro, Bianca; Fagnant, Maryse. “When I Grow Up I Want to be a Doctor”: Promoting Atikamekw Children’s Interest for Health Professions Through a Book Collection. JCHLA. 2015 ;36(2):79-80