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Medical students volunteer time prepping charter school in Northeast neighborhood

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Medical students are helping a charter school get ready for the new school year as part of the students' service to the community. It's an example of neighbors helping neighbors in the Northeast neighborhood.

Medical students from Kansas City's University of Medicine and Biosciences are working at 14 different locations to help improve the neighborhood. Scuola Vita Nova is a new school the students are helping get ready to open.

All 275 students at the osteopathic medical school must participate in the day of community service. And for a new charter school a couple of blocks from campus, the help couldn't come too soon.

Scuola Vita Nova will welcome kindergarteners through 8th graders into their new building in less than two weeks. But because of construction delays, the school is behind on getting classrooms set up and ready. Dozens of medical students spent the morning moving in boxes of books, shelving units and other furniture for teachers who were thankful to have the help.

"I think it makes a lot of sense," said Jenna Stephenson, an incoming freshman medical student. "We are going into medicine. We have a desire to serve. That's actually one of the highlights of orientation for me. I was super excited to hear we are going all around the community to just give back a little bit. And I think it's a first step in a long journey of service to just the community."

Medical students also say they would be happy to volunteer their time to tutor young kids at the charter school. KCUMB says it's all a part of making sure medical students know that they are in medicine to serve the community. And although the physical labor is not the same as practicing medicine, it's still an important community service.

If the charter school didn't have the volunteer help from medical students, teachers and staff would be left to do it all themselves. Now they will have more time to prepare their classrooms and lesson plans for the start of school.