Effingham County schools are making tracks on the path to better student health as they promote the American Diabetes Association’s ‘School Walk for Diabetes’ this fall. On Saturday the Effingham school nurses and health staff will hold the 2nd annual ‘Laps Around the Lake’ fund-raiser at Baker Pond in Springfield.
The event is presented by CVS Pharmacy/Diabetic Center. Additional support from local businesses includes HostSouth, Dasher Insurance, Effingham Hospital, Effingham Herald, Kroger, FunTimes, Amerigroup, Citizens Bank of Effingham, Wellcare, Rincon Wal-Mart, Atlantic Southern Bank, Home Town Auto Care of Pooler, The Coastal Bank, Effingham Power Sports and ShudderBug Photography.
Local school students and faculty are teaming up with local businesses to conduct an educational campaign that targets not only the children, but their family members and caregivers with the message of smart eating and exercise. The program is designed for the purpose of teaching the importance of an active lifestyle and good nutrition.
Childhood obesity, resulting from inactivity and poor nutrition, is responsible for the alarming statistic: One in three children born today will develop diabetes. Education is the key to prevention with a disease like diabetes that affects over 200,000 youth and 20 million adults in the U.S.
The program also teaches other important aspects of this potentially deadly disease such as prevention, detection, and the differences between type 1 diabetes, which research shows might be linked to viruses, and type 2 diabetes, which is almost completely preventable.
Leading up to Laps Around the Lake, Effingham students have been studying nutrition in their regular classes and incorporating fun and educational activities throughout the campaign, promoting school spirit and healthy living to students. A coordinator’s kit provided schools with lesson plans, games, challenges and other activities to teach healthy living choices.
The campaign can be customized for each school by its own group of volunteers including school nurses, health staff, athletic directors, student councils and extracurricular clubs. School Walk for Diabetes is designed in an age appropriate fashion for grades K-12. The program also has a FUNd-raising component to continue the mission of the American Diabetes Association: to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.
Each student receives a certificate and the ability to earn terrific prizes. Schools that reach their fund-raising goal of $1,000 or more get back a percentage of the monies raised for the purchase of playground equipment through U.S. Games or medical supplies. Local businesses can sponsor a school and help them reach their goal and increase their gift certificate amount.
Many of the Effingham County schools have come up with creative ideas to facilitate the learning process as well as assist in their FUNd-raising efforts. One of the most popular events of rewarding the students for their efforts with a chance for them or a teacher or principal to have the honor of kissing a pig, the official mascot of the ADA and the original source of insulin.
The CVS Diabetic Center, presenting sponsor of the event, is located at DeRenne and Waters Avenue in Savannah, provides vital information on the early detection of diabetes as well as education about managing diabetes.
Signs and symptoms of diabetes include: frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, increased fatigue, irritability and blurry vision.
To take a simple test to see if you or a loved one are at risk for diabetes, log on to http://diabetes.org/risk-test.jsp.
The general public is invited to join the schools of Effingham County in the fight against diabetes at Laps Around the Lake FUNd-raiser on Nov. 3. Enjoy food, entertainment and children’s activities, including rides with Anna the therapy horse. Raise $50 and get an event T-shirt.
For more information on forming a team or to support your local school in its efforts, please contact Regina Cochran, RN at the local chapter of the ADA at (912) 353-8110 ext. 3094 or firstname.lastname@example.org.