DVM students share love of veterinary medicine with elementary kids

Elementary school students looking with interest at a presentation
Kids at South Seneca Elementary School watch as Cornell DVM students present on what it's like to be a veterinarian. Photo by the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Ambassadors from the College of Veterinary Medicine shared all things pets and vets with the 350 children of South Seneca Elementary School this February. Dressed in their scrubs and white coats, second-year students Michele Best-Hall and Rachel Somma shared information about the college and the many career paths kids can take with veterinary medicine.

“Many of the students told me that they definitely want to become a veterinarian after learning what an interesting and exciting job it is,” said Heather Neville, third grade teacher at the school.

DVM student Michele Best-Hall talking with elementary kids
Second-year DVM student Michele Best-Hall interacts with the kids at South Seneca Elementary. Photo by the College of Veterinary Medicine.

The visit was part of the school’s Reading Celebration Program, which encourages reading year-round with customizable goals and fun events. The Cornell University Hospital for Animals is one installment in their programming for this year’s theme of Read to Build a Better World. For each child who meets her personal reading goals, the program committee will donate money to the hospital and gives the option for school staff to donate as well.

The students’ great interest in animals led the program committee to organize the year around helping animals of all kinds. “We immediately thought of the hospital because many of our students have taken their pets there at one point or another,” said Neville, who is a member of the committee.

“These kids were awesome to talk to,” said Somma. “They are inquisitive, curious, and asked the most genuine questions.”

Australian cattle dog at South Seneca Elementary School
Students watch as Maya the Australian Cattle Dog joins the presentation. Photo by the College of Veterinary Medicine.

The Cornell team passed out postcards, temporary tattoos, and fielded questions from an enthusiastic group of students. Best-Hall’s Australian Cattle Dog Maya and Somma’s Jack Russell Terrier Isabelle also joined the fun and visited with the kids.

“Students are still talking about all of the animals around the world that the Cornell Hospital for Animals has helped over the years,” said Neville.

The children will be working on their reading goals for this portion of the program through the end of the quarter, at which point $1 each will be donated to the patient assistance fund at the hospital.

A group of elementary school students watching the Cornell presentation
Around 350 kids total came to two presentations by the DVM students. Photo by the College of Veterinary Medicine.

By Melanie Greaver Cordova