Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine Teams-up with Lafayette School Corporation through The League of VetaHumanz to Support Miller Elementary School Students

Friday, April 12, 2024

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The Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine formalized a year-plus-long partnership between the college and the Lafayette School Corporation to support students at Miller Elementary School with a new 5-year commitment to combine superpowers and enrich student STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning through veterinary science lessons.

The League of VetaHumanz is an alliance of veterinary superheroes, led by Purdue Veterinary Medicine in collaboration with Purdue’s Evaluation and Learning Research Center. Teams of veterinary professionals and student role models across the country, certified by PVM, provide access and support for under-resourced children who aspire to careers in the veterinary profession. The award-winning program is supported by the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.

“We are excited for this opportunity to combine the superpowers of PVM and Miller Elementary for mutual transformation through The League of VetaHumanz,” said Dr. Sandra San Miguel, aka “Pink Phoenix,” associate dean for engagement and founder of the League. 

children and adults listen to instructions before starting a game on a basketball court
Third graders with their teacher Matthew Pendleton listen for Dr. San Miguel to start a race that was part of their science lesson on magnetism and animals.

For over a year, Dr. San Miguel, has been collaborating with the Miller Elementary leadership, teachers, and staff to develop and deliver a movement-based science curriculum for Miller students consistent with Indiana’s academic standards. After school, PVM staff and students deliver vet lessons to Miller students participating in programs at Bauer Family Resources. To further support this commitment, the college recently launched the PVM Cares! initiative, inviting all PVM students, staff, faculty, and alumni, as well as PVM friends and allies, to join in this partnership. PVM Cares! takes a holistic approach to supporting the school. “Throughout the year PVM and Miller will work together to equip Miller students and classrooms with everything from school supplies, homework supplies, and educational materials, to seasonal needs such as footwear, clothing, and outerwear,” Dr. San Miguel said. “We look forward to seeing how participation in this initiative boosts the wellbeing both of members of our college and members of our community!”

Miller Elementary School principal Erin Phillips said the partnership is an exciting development that sparks enthusiasm on the part of Miller students and teachers alike.  “This marks an exciting new chapter in our educational journey, as Miller Elementary proudly joins hands with the hands-on VetaHumanz Science Program, under the expert guidance of Dr. Sandra San Miguel,” Phillips said. “This collaboration is not just a partnership; it is a testament to our commitment to excellence in science education. We are incredibly excited to begin on this path with our Miller Mustangs as they embark on many inquisitive activities! This partnership also allows us to meet the diverse needs of all of our students.”

“We are getting ready for our first PVM Cares! mission in August,” Dr. San Miguel explained. “We will supply each child with a backpack filled with the supplies the students need to do their homework. The League will purchase the backpacks. Then, volunteers can help fill them with contents and care!”

“We are very excited about continuing our valued partnership with Miller Elementary School through this agreement,” said Purdue Veterinary Medicine Dean Willie Reed.  “This initiative is one of many examples of the college’s truly collaborative and mutually beneficial community engagement programs.”

Writer(s): Kevin Doerr | pvmnews@purdue.edu

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