Some youngsters in the Grove City area may feel as though they should answer in the affirmative if someone asks if there's a doctor in the house.

The Little Medical School offered its Veterinarian School program for students ages 6-12 during January and February as a Grove City Parks and Recreation Department activity at the Kingston Center.

The six-week program allowed participants to explore veterinarian careers by engaging in interactive demonstrations as well as games and activities using the same instruments that animal doctors use.

"It's a fun way for children to learn about the bodies of animals, science and medicine," said Teresa Ankamah, CEO of the Little Medical School-Columbus.

"The whole idea is for them to learn without really realizing they are learning," she said.

In the Veterinarian School program, children are given a plush dog to use in activities during the class, she said.

The lessons include everything from learning how dogs digest their food to learning about how canines see and how their sense of vision is different from humans.

"Children are very curious about how the body works, both their pets and their own," Ankamah said.

Using real medical tools such as stethoscopes helps students gain a better understanding of what a doctor does, she said.

"They may be less fearful during their next visit to a doctor or taking their pet to a veterinarian," Ankamah said.

"One of the things we hope our program does is inspire children to imagine medicine as a career they could pursue someday," she said.

Another important aspect of the Veterinarian School program is to teach youngsters how to care for their pets, said Maggie Lee, an Ohio State University pre-med student who led the six-week program at the Kingston Center.

"It's helps them accept the responsibility of helping take care of their pets," she said.

Alex Collier, 11, of Grove City, said she wanted to attend the Veterinarian School because, "I like puppies and I wanted to learn more about them."

Now she understands how to take care of her pet, she said.

"Dogs and other pets need our help to take care of them," Alex said.

Aidyn Mitchell, 10, of Grove City said she was fascinated to learn about how to read a dog's emotions.

"Depending on what they are doing, they're letting you know whether they are aggressive, excited or happy," she said.

If a dog's lips are pulled back and it's bearing its teeth, "they are feeling aggressive and you'd better watch out," Aidyn said.

"If their ears are raised and their eyes are big, they're probably scared. If they're wagging their tail, they're pretty excited and happy.

"It's fun because now I can figure out what my dog is trying to tell me," she said.

As for whether she might want to be a veterinarian someday, "Maybe, maybe not," Aidyn said.

"I wouldn't mind opening a pet store. Or maybe I could be a veterinarian for a pet store," she said.

The Little Medical School will be offering two summer camps programs later this year at the Kingston Center.

The Is There a Doctor in the House camp will be offered June 11-15, while the Little Veterinarian School Happy Pets are Healthy Pets program will be presented July 16-20.

Both programs are designed for children ages 5-12 and will meet from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Registration information will be available in the city's summer Source community guide.

More information is available at www.littlemedicalschool.com

afroman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekAfroman