Creating a T1D community at school

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School can be difficult, but for someone living with type 1 diabetes (T1D), it can be even more challenging. The JDRF Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter is working with local school districts to educate and provide resources to better support those living with T1D as well as spread awareness of the disease to faculty, administration, students, and families.

The JDRF Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter has been working with school districts to help them better understand T1D and how to support their faculty, administration, students, and families. In the West Chester Area School District, JDRF was invited to meet with 21 of their school nurses to talk about T1D, how to support those living with the disease in the school setting, and how JDRF can help!

This was a great opportunity to provide the school nurses support in what tools JDRF can offer, support them in their role, as well as help broaden the T1D community by supporting all those living with diabetes, whether students and/or their families and the faculty, administration and their families. This session allowed the school nurses to ask various questions as well as hear from Amy Kirk, a mother of a son with T1D and Co-Chair of the T1D Connections Program. Amy shared her own family’s experience working with her son’s school system and the importance of that school/family partnership.

“I felt empowered standing in front of a room full of school nurses talking about my son’s experience with a fabulous nurse,” Amy shares. “I know how lucky my son has been to have had the school support that he has had, and I know not every child with diabetes is as lucky. I was honored to share his story and know that I could be making a difference in how a school nurse treats a child with diabetes and his or her family. I am forever grateful for JDRF for giving me the platform and tools to help others in all situations with type 1 diabetes.”

How JDRF can support your school

JDRF wants to help set schools up for success to help those living with T1D. Below are a few ways that JDRF can partner to support the T1D community within your school district:

The JDRF School Advisory Toolkit is a great tool for parents and educators. It includes information that will help develop strong partnerships to give every child the best possible school experience.

What better way to support your local T1D community than by getting the whole school district involved? Give kids a chance to educate—and empower—their peers! Schools can raise awareness and money about T1D for your child in a couple of different ways:

[1] Students, faculty, and families have the opportunity to be part of the bigger community and receive recognition for their participation in JDRF One Walk, the signature fundraising event for T1D research. Whether the school supports a T1D family Walk team or chooses to form a school-wide Walk team, JDRF is here to help you get started!

[2] Does your school want to hold its own fundraiser? You know what your school likes! JDRF Your Way is a flexible fundraising platform with digital tools that lets you do anything—and we mean anything—to teach your peers about T1D and support a world without T1D. Create a unique event, showcase a student or teacher’s talent or use a special occasion to encourage involvement.

We support school nurses by giving them the tools they need in order to care for those living with T1D. School nurses are a great resource for the whole school community, as they can help educate others; spread awareness; and encourage faculty, administration, students, and families to engage with JDRF at various levels. Does your school nurse support a newly diagnosed student or faculty member? Is he or she prepared to answer questions about navigating healthcare and health insurance? Could your school use support materials on life with T1D? JDRF has the tools to share!

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Want to connect JDRF with your school district? Contact our Outreach Manager, CarlaAnn Henry, to learn how! We want your family to feel confident that T1D won’t stand in the way at school!