The Ruth Lilly Health Education Center at Marian University Serves Eastside Community with EDGE Afterschool Program

by Katie Bradley | Feb 02, 2015

Every Tuesday, the Ruth Lilly Health Education Center (RLHEC) at Marian University, in collaboration with the John H. Boner Community Center (JHBCC), delivers the Excellence, Discovery, and Growth through Education (EDGE) afterschool program at Indianapolis Public School (IPS) Arsenal Technical High School. EDGE aims to meet out-of-school time needs and promote academic excellence on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis.

“Out-of-school opportunities are a challenge for high school teens and EDGE is providing Tech students with an opportunity for safe and productive time immediately following their school day,” said Kathy Lesch, health educator and technology coordinator for RLHEC.

During the program, students learn about various topics including drug and sex education, mental and emotional health, and nutrition and physical activity.

Recently, students who attended four RLHEC sessions were entered in a raffle and one student won a bike, helmet, and lock. Carmel Cyclery generously donated the brand new bicycle for the winner.

Established in 1989, the Ruth Lilly Health Education Center has provided health education to more than two million Hoosiers in its 25-year-history.  In December, the RLHEC merged with Marian University and is now administered by Marian University’s School of Education and Exercise Science under the leadership of Diana Cheshire, Ph.D., dean.

Marian University is ideally suited to build on RLHEC’s legacy. The university offers experience in science, health sciences, health education, exercise science and K-12 education programs, including hosting thousands of K-12 students for standards-based educational experiences in the Nina Mason Pulliam EcoLab, an on-campus nature preserve and outdoor classroom. Marian University’s continued commitment to be a community anchor and leader for neighborhood revitalization will bolster the long-term sustainability of the RLHEC’s mission and programming.

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