Physical Therapy Students Serve as ‘Buddies’ at Camp High Five

The camp is one of a few in the country that offer constraint-induced movement therapy for children who have limited mobility on one side of their body.

HIGH POINT, N.C., June 19, 2019 – This week, more than a dozen High Point University physical therapy doctoral students are helping community children with limited mobility become stronger.

Camp High Five at the Haynes-Inman Education Center in Jamestown is a camp that limits the child’s use of the most mobile side of their body in order to encourage increased movement on their limited side. Each day has its own theme, and today’s was “Olympic Day.”

Jahnessa Jeter is 4 years old, from High Point and has limited mobility with her left side. This is her first time attending the camp, where she used her left arm to place colored pompoms in the matching colored Olympic rings with a spoon.

Meghan Patton, a third-year physical therapy doctoral student at HPU, worked with Jeter to match the colors. Patton said the activity is aimed to improve her upper extremity movements and functions.

“Jahnessa is the sweetest child,” said Patton. “I’m figuring out the right positioning to be able to get her to do the activities we want. But once you get her engaged, she is happy to do it.”

Erika Klein, a third-year physical therapy doctoral student at HPU, works with Macie Collier, a camp participant.

“My right arm is my weaker arm, and this camp helps me get stronger,” said Collier. “The cast on my left arm keeps me from doing the activity with my stronger arm.”

The camp is in its fourth year and has seen an increase in the number of participants and HPU students. Klein, who has volunteered at the camp for three years, has witnessed the impact the camp has had on the children in the community.

“We learn more and more every year we come back,” said Klein. “And as we learn more in the classroom, we get to bring that knowledge here and work with these awesome kids. Macie challenges me to think of fun, new ways to do activities so she doesn’t get bored.”

Tomorrow’s theme is “Under the Sea Day.” Klein and Alex Coverdale, a third-year physical therapy doctoral student at HPU, designed the entire day of activities, snacks and decorations. The camp runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Friday.

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