Walk for Diabetes heightens health awareness - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Walk for Diabetes heightens health awareness

Posted on November 21, 2007

by Dr. Edna Hussey on November 21, 2007

No doubt about it — we have a very caring community here at MPI.

The highlights of this Thanksgiving week were today’s Walk for Diabetes and the school assembly. Under the organizational leadership of Pam Jenkins, our physical education teacher, the children raised nearly $3200 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and heightened their awareness about the importance of good health. We also took every step to show our support for two elementary school students with Type 1 diabetes in our community. Every student and faculty member from preschool through fifth grade walked at least one lap, and some students actually ran eight laps during the 45-minute activity period. The scenic route took us mostly around the perimeter of the MPI campus, about ¾ of a mile under brilliant sun and shady trees. Several parents assisted children on the walk, while another crew of parents manned the water stations and set up healthy snacks at the end of the walk. Every walker or runner received an orange JDRF wristband as a memento of today’s community walk.

JDRF executive director Manya Levin and special events coordinator Christopher Wong expressed gratitude to the students for their impressive show of support. Kristyn Y., one of our students with Type I diabetes read a short speech about how diabetes affects her life daily (Kristyn’s speech is posted on Pam Jenkins’ physical education weblog). Needless to say, every person in the room listened respectfully to her heartfelt speech.

Pam prepared the students for the walk by teaching a unit on diabetes and how this condition affects the body’s immune system. She created a pathway on the basketball court representing blood flow and the different organs impacted by glucose that remains in the blood when insulin is not naturally manufactured to regulate glucose levels. Moving on slide boards, the students imitated the movement of blood cells. I’m sure that the students in kindergarten through fifth grade have a basic understanding about diabetes, enough perhaps to remember that a balanced diet, daily exercise, and active lifestyle can prevent diabetes and other life-threatening diseases.  We are grateful to the many parents who volunteered their time to assist us with the Walk for Diabetes.

Kindergarten teacher Katie Brooks shared a recent experience at today's assembly that she and colleague Kelley Hitomi had at a beehive farm in Waimanalo last weekend. Since the Kindergartners are studying insects, both teachers decided to visit the beehive farm in order to better prepare their students for Mr. Bee Man’s visit to our campus next week. Ms. Brooks told us that just as she was leaving the farm in her car, she absent-mindedly swiped at a bee that flew into her car and hovered around her head. Well, the bee stung her lip and left its stinger firmly implanted on her lip. At today’s assembly, she showed us the stinger on one of the electronic microscopes that can be hooked up to a computer monitor.  Using an LCD projector, a much larger image with amazing (and frightening!) detail and magnification was projected on the screen. I think the children will appreciate Mr. Bee Man’s visit next week.

Every Thanksgiving gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect on our many blessings. I’m grateful for the 251 preschool and elementary children entrusted to our care and for the 34 faculty and staff who share in this awesome responsibility.  On behalf of the faculty and staff, deepest appreciation to our parents for your unwavering and generous support in this partnership of educating every child at MPI.  

Warmest wishes to you and your family for a Happy Thanksgiving.  

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey