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DJUSD Spotlight



This year, Birch Lane Elementary School has taken a unique step to help educate its community about type 1 diabetes (T1D).  The school has a particularly high incidence of TD1 in its student population.  T1D is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas loses the ability to produce insulin—a hormone essential to turning food into energy. It can affect both children and adults and is unrelated to diet and lifestyle.  It requires constant carbohydrate counting, blood glucose testing and lifelong dependence on injected insulin.

In order to help raise awareness about the challenges and facts of T1D, Birch Lane Elementary families organize and host a districtwide T1D Family Support Group.  Additionally, parents and school staff collaborated to bring the organization “JDRF” (formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund)  to present to all grade levels. Students listened to JDRF experts and were shown a video about elementary-aged children living with the disease.  The presentation highlighted the difficulties students with TD1 face to keep themselves healthy and the support they require from family, friends, doctors and their school each day.  Students learned why T1D children need to test their blood regularly and the different ways that happens.

The goal of the presentation and the community efforts at Birch Lane is to underscore that all students, no matter what challenges they may face, are part of one supportive community.   The school is also emphasizing that making healthy choices is good for everyone—including maintaining a healthy diet and incorporating physical activity into your daily routine.

On November 5th, Birch Lane students and staff take to their feet for a Kids Helping Kids! Walk on the playground at the end of the school day to raise awareness about those living with diabetes. November is National Diabetes Month and November 14th is World Diabetes Day.