Children’s Kidney Care Education for Tucson Schools
Children at Holaway Elementary school and Mission Manor Elementary School school in Tucson, Arizona, will be taught about kidney anatomy and life-long effects of high blood pressure and diabetes on their kidneys. Reading materials on kidney anatomy, hypertension and diabetes will be provided. Students will be encouraged to read and discuss materials provided and students will be placed in a drawing for bicycles with helmets to be awarded for participants in a “Bikes for Books” reward system.
Children will be taught kidney anatomy, nutrition and kidney disease prevention by school teachers, DCI staff and Tucson Masonic Lodge #4 volunteers. Readings and kidney life-long health will be provided and encouraged. The Tucson community will have healthier children who will continue their lives as healthy adults.
In March and April of 2019 The Kids’ Kidney Care Education Team provided two days of education classes for all of the second graders at the Frances Owen Holaway Elementary School and at the Mission Manor Elementary School. Both schools are in Tucson, Arizona. There were three classrooms of second graders at each school with approximately 100 second graders at each of the two schools. Topics covered included human anatomy and nutrition for health and longevity. Every class addressed the two greatest kidney disease risk factors, hypertension and diabetes. Handouts and homework questions on human anatomy, healthy nutrition, diabetes and high blood pressure were given to the second graders to take home and have parents participate in the Kidney Care Education program checking and signing off on the homework the students filled out and answered. A nutrition and exercise diary was kept by each child in the program for those activities. The nutrition and exercise journal was returned the Holaway and Manor teachers for review and feedback to the students by their second-grade teachers. Dietician Karen Lucero, RD, and William Wilkinson, DrPH, RN, CNN, presented the classes.
Desert Dialysis Centers Tucson South partnered with Tucson Masonic Lodge # 4, 3590 N. Country Club Road , two non-profit community organizations that serve the Tucson community to participate in kidney education. Tucson No. 4 offers a “Bikes for Books” community education incentive program for public schools across Tucson, Arizona. Twenty-four bicycles were awarded in a drawing to second grader participants in the Kids’ Kidney Care Education classes at Holaway and Manor schools. A total of 48 bicycles, 24 for girls and 24 for boys were presented to the children.
This purpose project was designed to serve the public education system by supporting Holaway and Manor schools with DCI Arizona volunteers to teach all the second-grade students at the school about how to care for their own health. This program targeted school students at this early age where the students are mature enough to learn and use the information and attitudes toward health which the students could then use to improve and enhance their health habits over the rest of their life. The students’ families were intentionally included by sending homework with the students to the home which had to be checked and signed off on by the students’ parents or grandparents requiring them to read and comprehend the homework material in order to assist students. It is anticipated that the Tucson community will benefit from healthier children and the families. This information was not offered through the school’s staff in any other place within the curriculum to meet the needs of it students. With this goal in mind, we experienced an outpouring of support from the persons at the Desert Dialysis Centers in Tucson and from the Holaway school staff, Manor school staff and Tucson Lodge partners. The Holaway and Manor and DCI teaching group was composed of highly talented, skilled and motivated DCI academic and clinical team members.
Since diabetes and hypertension account for about 75 percent of the two major causes of End Stage Renal Disease, 50% and 25% respectively, early age education of school children on these topics is vital to the community and public health. Student participants have an opportunity to prevent themselves more effectively from developing kidney disease and by knowing risk factors and exemplifying salubrious lifestyles and habits to extend their lives length and quality.