Preschool Motor Group (PMG) Internship – Winter 2024
We are now recruiting for the Winter 2024 Preschool Motor Group! (But please note that we are waiting on the funding for it!) The motor group will run on Wednesday mornings, starting Wednesday January 10, 2024 and running thru Wednesday, March 20 with no session on March 13 for spring break and a backup session Wednesday March 27 (in case of snow day), 2024. Interns must commit to be at all 10 weeks, including the snow date week.
There will be three required in-person trainings for this program prior to the start of the program. Interns are required to attend all of the trainings – there are no exceptions.
The required trainings for this program will take place in Bexley:
Sunday, Nov 26, 2023, 2-5 pm, location to be announced (end of Thanksgiving break)
Sunday, January 7, 2024, 2-5 pm, location to be announced
PMG Internship Requirements
There are five mandatory parts of each internship:
- Application and Interview (in-person or virtual)
- PMG Internship: Preschool Motor Group Internship Application
- PMG Leadership Corps: Regular application + PMG Leadership Corps Application
- Orientation/Training Sessions:
Attend and actively participate in three in-person orientation/training sessions this Fall 2023 (2 prior to the start of the program and 1 after the Motor Group has started) and complete 3 sets of assigned independent readings and submit responses to question prompts via Google docs.
- Documentation: BCI Criminal Background Check
Students are responsible for paying for their FBI and BCI background checks ($70 at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office on 410 South High Street; check hours here or call 614-525-5090), unless they have had a background check within the past 12 months and are able to obtain a copy that can be given to the Preschool director.
- Motor Group: The motor group will run on Wednesday mornings, starting Wednesday January 10, 2024 and running thru Wednesday, March 20 with no session on March 13 for spring break and a backup session Wednesday March 27 (in case of snow day), 2024. Interns must commit to be at all 10 weeks, including the snow date week.
- Timely responses to GroupMe communications.
What is the Preschool Motor Group (PMG) Internship?
Undergraduates who have experience working with children and who are interested in pursuing Occupational Therapy (OT), Physical Therapy (PT), Intervention Specialist (IS), Speech/Language Pathologist (SLP), and early childhood education have the opportunity to learn from an experienced pediatric OT about child development. After participating in extensive training, the interns will deliver a 10 week innovative program that consists of 40 minute weekly developmental motor labs for preschoolers who attend a parochial (religious based) preschool, during the school day. The majority of the children are typically-developing; a small number have been identified as having special needs and/or are in the process of being identified for services.
During the weekly sessions, teams of 2-3 interns will lead the preschoolers in rotating through multi-sensory stations that enable them to strengthen their core muscles, mature their brain/body connections, and engage in multisensory activities. In working directly with the children, the interns will help them develop and practice foundational motor skills that promote later academic, emotional regulation, and athletic success. The children enjoy the activities, which are age-appropriate, challenging, fun, and social. In fact, the preschoolers look forward to each motor group session, as well as getting to know the interns.
Take a look here to see the kinds of activities we do:
This will be my 13th year running motor groups for preschoolers and kindergarteners at Columbus area schools. Since 2018, 35 undergraduates from Capital, OSU, and Otterbein have successfully completed the PMG internship.
There are two “tracks” of the internship: the PMG internship and the PMG Leadership Corps.
Sample Morning Weekly Schedule (subject to change)
8:45 am Team arrives, sets up equipment, and reviews plan
9:35-10:15 Group 1 – 18 kids
10:10-10:30 Reset stations, record data, discuss group 1
10:30-11:10 Group 2 – 13 kids
11:10-11:45 Record data, discuss group 2, preview next week’s activities
11:45-12 Put away equipment
Undergraduate students who assist with the Preschool Motor Group may have the opportunity to:
- Develop an understanding of typical and delayed developmental markers/ milestones for children ages 3-5 years.
- Observe and actively help implement effective, evidence-based treatment strategies, protocols, and interventions for preschool age children to ensure healthy development of sensory motor skills.
- Gain exposure to clinical reasoning in treatment planning.
- Aid the therapist in planning, organizing, setting up, and running a station-based sensory motor group.
- Create promotional materials for families to encourage healthy development of sensory motor skills at home through play.
Helpful Qualities and Skills for PMG Internship
- Previous child care experiences required, such as babysitting, camp counselor, student teacher, etc., are required.
- Helpful qualities: adaptable, compassionate, conscientious, creative, curious, dependable, empathetic, hard working, imaginative, inquisitive, kind, motivated
- Helpful skills: good communication, problem solving skills, experience working on a team
- Non-smokers preferred
- Personal and professional references (one of each) requested on application
- Physical stamina and strength to move equipment (mats, bins, phone books, etc.)
- Professional conduct: appropriate demeanor, language, behavior, attire, reliability, etc.
PMG Leadership Corps – More Information/Requirements
- To read more about the Leadership Corps program, expectations, responsibilities, and time commitment, please read here.
- The PMG Leadership Corps was created to enable a small group of talented and motivated undergraduates to have the opportunity to develop leadership, planning, learning, and practical application of knowledge for those seeking to enter the OT or PT profession. Through working closely with me, I also am able to get to know students in greater depth, which enables me to offer mentoring and support during the graduate school application process.
- 3-5 undergraduates for each motor group session chosen on the basis of experience, availability, and personal qualities
- Time commitment: 60 hours total:
- 5-10 hours training time
- 30-35 hours hands on with preschoolers
- 15-25 additional hours of projects to develop leadership, understanding of treatment planning, and practical application of knowledge
- The PMG Leadership Corps members work as a team to run the motor group. Some of the responsibilities include the following:
- Collaborating with Laura on the weekly motor group curriculum, making changes as needed to accommodate the children’s skill development
- Weekly leader tasks: distribute name tags to interns, help supervise station set up, set up clipboards with pencils and data sheets, help explain station changes and new activities to interns during station roundup, help pair children with intern groups
- Entering data into Google documents/spreadsheets after the motor group.
- Communicating with non-LC interns about their experience
- Assisting with written communication about the children’s progress with the preschool teachers, such as carry over activities for the classroom
- PMG Leadership Corps members also complete additional projects under supervision, such as: creating handouts for parents/caregivers on a specific motor skill, identifying helpful, websites, or researching academic publications for articles on specific motor skill development
- PMG Leadership Corps members write reflections on the internship experience and provide details and details for the application process about leadership, communication skills, initiative, and perseverance during the internship
- Students interested in applying for the PMG Leadership Corps must complete the regular Preschool Motor Group Internship Application AND the Leadership Corps Application prior to the internship interview to let me know that you are interested. Ideally, students will be notified prior to the start of the program if they have been chosen for the leadership cohort.
Letters of Reference
- Many students ask me to write letters of reference on their behalf for OT or PT graduate school, and I love being able to advocate for those students who have gone above and beyond during their internships and whom I have gotten to know well.
- 60 hours is the minimum number of internship hours for me to write a letter of recommendation, and this is only available to interns who complete the PMG Leadership Corps. This is in order to be fair to the undergraduates who intern with me directly who often fulfill 80-100 hours for a class.
- Because the OT/PT graduate school application process is so competitive, simply fulfilling the basic requirements of the internship does not enable me to get to know students well enough to write strong letters of recommendation.
- The PMG Leadership Corps was designed to enable a small group of interns to experience additional opportunities for leadership, planning, learning, and practical application of knowledge for those seeking to enter the OT or PT profession. Through working closely with me, I also can get to know students in greater depth, which enables me to offer mentoring and support during the graduate school application process.
- But please note that to receive a letter of reference that espouses excellent performance, students must demonstrate excellence during the internship. Thus the PMG Leadership Corps is an opportunity, but not a guarantee, of a letter of reference that will enhance a student’s application. If I feel that I cannot write a solid letter of reference, I will let students know so that they have an opportunity to improve their performance during the internship.
My Professional OT Journey
My name is Laura Faye Clubok. I am a pediatric occupational therapist living in Columbus, Ohio. I completed my undergraduate degree at Harvard College and graduated with a Master’s of Science degree in OT in 1999 from the Boston School of Occupational Therapy at Tufts University. I moved to Columbus in 1999 and began a private practice in 2001.
My interest in occupational therapy started much earlier. As you may have guessed from my logo, I was born with a thumb on my left hand and several “nubbins” in place of fingers. Born and raised in suburban Boston, Massachusetts, I first began receiving OT services when I was in the third grade to help me to adapt to living in a two-handed world. My early experiences with OT ultimately inspired my career choice: after earning my bachelor’s degree (in government!), I pursued a master’s degree in occupational therapy, focusing on pediatrics. I chose to work with children who, like me, needed extra help playing, learning, and interacting with the world.
As sole proprietor and owner of On the Other Hand Therapy, I work with a variety of schools and at my home-based therapy space. My goal is to provide OT services that enable my clients to develop their foundational developmental skills so that they can be successful in school and beyond. I enjoy collaborating with families and other service providers to ensure carry-over of OT into school and home daily routines.
Over the past 23 years, I have worked as a contract therapist for Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities; presented to parents and local preschool and elementary school teachers on a variety of OT topics; taught preschool and elementary school children principles of strong posture; provided handwriting instruction to kindergarten teachers; offered private OT services to help children with the development of fine and gross motor skills with a focus on handwriting skills; and run motor groups for preschoolers through first graders.
FAQs – Additional Information
- Is this internship paid or volunteer?
This internship is strictly volunteer. But it can count for academic credit (see below)
- Is there a fee to participate?
Students are responsible for paying for their BCI background checks, unless they have had a background check within the past 12 months and are able to obtain a copy that can be given to the Preschool director.
- Does this internship count for academic credit?
That depends on your major and your specific program. I am willing to work with any university to make the internship count for academic credit if that would be helpful for students.
- Will you write me a letter of recommendation for OT/PT graduate school if I do this internship?
The short answer is: students who are interested in a letter of recommendation for graduate school should apply to the PMG Leadership Corps internship. Please see section above, Letters of Reference.
- How many hours is the internship?
That depends on whether interns complete the standard PMG or LC versions. The standard internship will be roughly 38 hours and the LC is a minimum of 60 hours.
- How many weeks is the internship?
10 consecutive weeks in person with the preschoolers and 1-2 months of semi-regular training sessions prior to the start of the motor group.
- What are the days and times of the motor group?
The Motor Group will run on Wednesday mornings. The motor group will start Wednesday January 10, 2024 and run thru Wednesday, March 20 with no session on March 13 for spring break and a backup session Wednesday March 27 (in case of snow day), 2024. Interns must commit to be at all 10 weeks, including the snow date week.
- Can I miss one of the training sessions or a week of the motor group?
Because this is a team-based program that depends on the full contribution of every participant, interns may not miss trainings, and absences during the motor group are only permitted for illness or family emergencies. Students who commit to the internship are expected to plan their schedules to avoid conflicts (obviously sickness isn’t planned). Students who know that they will miss a training or motor group week are discouraged from applying.
- Do I need to be a senior to apply for the PMG Leadership Corps?
Not at all! In fact, sophomores and juniors may get more out of the experience because they will have the opportunity to request a letter of recommendation for their graduate school application.
- If I am interested in the PMG Leadership Corps, do I fill out the regular application or the PMG Leadership Corps application, or both?
People interested in the PMG Leadership Corps need to complete both applications: the regular Preschool Motor Group Internship Application AND the Leadership Corps Application prior to the internship interview to let me know that you are interested.
- Is it okay if I haven’t worked with children before?
Actually, no – it is essential that you have worked with children previously. Because of the interactive design of the motor group, previous child care experiences, such as babysitting, camp counselor, student teacher, etc., are required.
- What are the ages of the children I will work with?
3-5 year olds, broken into age cohorts.
- How many children will I work with?
1-2 children at a time by yourself; 2-4 children with an intern partner.
- Do I need to have a car?
Carpooling is highly encouraged! As long as there are several interns from the same college, carpooling should be possible. Otherwise, you will need reliable transportation to Bexley, Ohio.
- How will I learn the skills to work with the children?
There are required training sessions and required reading, both of which will help prepare you for the activities you will run with the preschoolers.
Intern Testimonials from 2022 and 2023 Participants
I would rate this experience a 11/10! I found all aspects of it to be inviting, informational, beneficial to my career goals, and fun!
I would definitely recommend this internship for anyone interested in OT/PT. It is a great way to learn more about pediatric occupational therapy, and it can really help you figure out if it is the right career path for you. Laura is extremely helpful and open to feedback, she wants to do her best to make sure it’s a positive experience for the interns and preschoolers.
I had an overwhelmingly positive experience from participating in the motor group internship. I learned so much about what it means to work within a pediatrics environment and also what it is like to work in an integrated team with people of varying interests and career goals. I am very grateful for the opportunity to further my connections and learn about my intended future career!
It was amazing. Such a great learning experience. I learned so much and was able to have more hands-on experience than ever before. This internship truly made me see OT in a new light. I learned so much information I had never learned before and Laura did such a great job providing us the framework to succeed.
I would absolutely recommend this internship. It has been a genuine pleasure to be a part of. The hands-on experience that you get working with the children is unparalleled. On top of that you also get exposure to the more business side of OT through the independent learnings as well as planning the activities. Also, the supervisor (Laura) really cares about each and every intern and makes sure that everyone is getting as much out of the experience as possible.
For additional testimonials, read here.
Applications will be considered and positions filled on a rolling basis.
- Everyone interested in the PMG Internship should complete the Preschool Motor Group Internship Application.
- Everyone interested in the PMG Leadership Corps should ALSO complete the Leadership Corps Application prior to the internship interview to let me know that you are interested in the additional leadership and mastery opportunities.
In addition to completing the application, please send a resume or summary of your extracurricular activities, work, and volunteer experiences using the contact form.
Questions are always welcome. I look forward to meeting students who are interested in the internship and determining if this is a good fit on both sides!
Laura Faye Clubok, MS, OTR/L
© 2023. Laura Faye Clubok, MS, OTR/L, On The Other Hand Therapy