How do you communicate what an important day World Rare Disease Day is to a classroom of young children? While many rare parents will try to encourage teachers to allow for a small speech or activity on the day–teacher and mother Julie Cunningham has found a way to simplify the process.
“I wanted to create materials that would work at a variety of ages and I felt all students of any age could come up with ways they show kindness to others, thus leaving “heartprints” behind,” said Julie. “Our school focuses on a character education program called “Peace Builders” so they are familiar with character education type of lessons and activities, but we don’t normally do things specifically about rare diseases, except in February.”
Julie had great feedback from other teachers that students in all grades and levels were able to participate and enjoy this year’s activities.
“Teachers emailed me and made comments in passing that they “loved” the materials, that their students were really “into” it. Some upper grade teachers took the ideas and expanded on them by finding other information about rare diseases to share with their students. Almost all the teachers at my school used at least some portion of the materials I provided.”