El Paso, TX (KTSM) — Kohl’s Department Stores will donate $67,348 to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) at the El Paso County Mental Health Services building on Thursday. Along with the County of El Paso Mental Health Support Services (MHSS), TTUHSC will host a unique interactive workshop on how to educate teens and children to make wise decisions about health and safety.
The workshop, titled the “Didi and Pepin Wellness Program,” is free to the public and focuses on the use of an online gaming application and interactive web site created by TTHSC associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Marie Leiner, specifically for El Paso children to change their behavior and attitudes toward health and safety.
The site includes interactive gaming applications created both in English and Spanish to teach El Paso children to develop healthy mental and physical habits.
“The workshop focuses on an intervention based on a successful marketing technique known as vicarious learning, or learning by example and consequences,” said Leiner.
The technique of vicarious learning is widely used in television, video games and movies, and was implemented in the website using a series of pictogames that present children and teens with information on a wide variety of issues, ranging from teen driving and obesity to more sensitive issues such as drugs and depression.
MHSS Director Rita Ruelas said this innovative program has been available for a couple of years but few people in the community know about its existence. “We want to tell our community about resources available in their own backyard,” said Ruelas. “At the El Paso Youth Services we have been providing services to a large number of families, but this program has the potential to have an even bigger impact in our community,” Ruelas concluded.
Parents who attend the workshop will receive free DVDs, bilingual story books and an illustrated activities brochure to be used along the website. Professionals in the mental health and medical professions are encouraged to attend, as they will learn how to use the website to provide adolescents with helpful information in a way that they will accept and retain. The workshop is limited to 80 participants, and registration is required. To enroll, call (915) 775-2700.
Since 2002, Kohl’s has donated more than $663,000 to TTUHSC. Kohl's commitment to TTUHSC is made possible through the Kohl's Cares® cause merchandise program. Through this initiative, Kohl’s sells $5 books and plush toys, and 100 percent of net profit benefits children’s health and education programs nationwide, including healthcare partnerships like this one. Kohl's has raised more than $231 million dollars through this merchandise program. In addition to the merchandise program, Kohl's Cares® features the Kohl's Cares® Scholarship Program, which last year recognized more than 2,300 young volunteers with more than $400,000 in scholarships and prizes. Through Kohl’s Associates in Action volunteer program, more than 669,000 associates have donated more than 2.2 million hours of their time since 2001, and Kohl’s has donated more than $63 million to youth-focused nonprofit organizations. Kohl’s also offers fundraising gift cards for schools and youth-serving organizations. For more information, visit www.Kohls.com/Cares .