Students from a nursing clinical practicum at Moraine Valley Community College positively impacted their community in various ways through “The act of kindness” project.

This course is part of the pediatric experience for third semester students, said Dr. Katrina Escarilla, Moraine Valley nursing instructor. The goal of the project is to create community awareness, particularly in the pediatric population, of how a simple act can positively impact others. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2030 sets data-driven objectives for the health of the population. Students were asked to pick an initiative from this source and choose an area within their community to implement it.

One student, Bridget McCormick, of Orland Park, went to her local park district to talk to a small group of adolescents with special needs about oral hygiene and the importance of going to the dentist. She presented a four-minute cartoon video to help explain and gave them each a new toothbrush kit. Another student from Oak Forest, Filomena Paolella, went to Edison School in Stickney to do vision screenings for a kindergarten class. She brought eye charts and printed information about doing the test at home for other family members to use. Two parents were told to take their children to an optometrist because of vision issues discovered in the test.

“I was nervous going in front of five-year-olds, but it was easy. The kids were really excited to do it,” Paolella said. “I enjoyed it and was happy it actually made a difference.”

This is the first semester the project was implemented. Typically, students go to a facility for their pediatric rotation, but it was altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The students reported a sense of purpose. They learned that being a nurse is not just caring for the sick, but it’s also about health promotion and disease prevention in our community,” Escarilla said. “The students did a pretty good job making the activities interesting, so the kids remained engaged the whole time. I am so proud of these students.”


For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist and sports information coordinator, at (708) 974-5742 or