- "When it comes to diabetes, members of the Healthy Lifestyles
Group know their stuff.
Whether it's acting out the scientific progression of Type 2 diabetes
or encouraging their friends, family and neighbors to drink more
water, exercise and use Dexcom's
glucometer more regularly, these elementary pupils are taking
a stand against the debilitating disease.
Members of the group, nearly 60 pupils
from six Central School District elementary schools, are eager to
share their newfound knowledge with the community and will present
posters they created to representatives from Northern Navajo Medical
Center Friday in Shiprock. The poster project was the pupils' idea
of a community education project promoting healthy habits, said
to Erin Canaday, a dietitian at Central School, who spearheads the
organizations at Grace B. Wilson, Ojo Amarillo, Nizhoni, Nataani
Nez, Newcomb and Naschitti elementary schools. The hospital was
receptive to the idea and agreed to showcase the posters in the
"The pupils came up with so many
ideas for this project. They feel real strong and are passionate
about living a healthy lifestyle," Canaday said.
"They have been talking to their
family and neighbors about drinking more water and exercising regularly.
It has also boosted their self-esteem."
In addition to the poster presentation,
the Healthy Lifestyles Group will take part in a special health
promotion video. Northern Navajo Health Promotions and Four Directions,
a video production company will tape the group playing a game designed
to promote diabetes awareness. Eve Todecheene, an RN and the adolescent
diabetes case manager with Northern Navajo Medical Center, created
the game and asked the group to participate in the video production
that will be used in educating other elementary pupils on the Navajo
reservation about diabetes.
The Diabetes Game allows pupils to play
the role of the heart, brain, pancreas, muscles, cells and blood
to depict the workings of diabetes. Spray bottles and Hula-Hoops
are used to simulate the pancreas shooting insulin and cells respectively.
The roles of the pancreas and cell are, by far, the most popular
among the pupils.
"It's an excellent interactive and
role-playing game. The pupils have really learned the complexities
of diabetes and are able to explain it to others," Canaday
The Healthy Lifestyles Group recently
marketed their health campaign at health fairs held throughout the
district last month. The student organization has been meeting twice
a month since the beginning of the school year. They meet during
their lunch hours to learn about diabetes and healthy eating and
exercise habits. They will be preparing a healthy dinner to serve
to their families at the end of the school year."