The health of America is in jeopardy, and you can do something about it! I teach health and wellness at a newly-formed magnet school in Indiana's largest school system. We encompass grades 7 - 12 and work to inspire inner-city kids to remain in school and encourage them to strive to attend college by offering a more rigorous curriculum coupled with higher standards than these children have ever experienced.
Most of the students I encounter are from low-income, uneducated families. 80% of our population receive free or reduced lunches. Most of our students have had little or no interaction with health care professionals. The students at our school had to gain entrance by showing aptitude and willingness to learn. The current state of our economy, however, did not allow for the school system to purchase the technology and other resources these kids need in order to reach the level of proficiency to be successful. They and we are forced to make due with outdated equipment, inadequate materials, and minimal supplies. These kids show great promise, and they deserve the chance to compete with kids from more privileged backgrounds.
Due to the lack of textbooks, teachers like me must use supplemental resources in order to create meaningful and inspiring lessons. Health classes in low-income areas must resort to using chalkboards, posters, and worksheets in order to attempt to meet the needs of our students. The students need more! An LCD projector will allow me to use my computer to at least get these kids hooked up with the latest developments and breakthroughs in health and wellness. I can use distance learning opportunities to expose these kids to areas they have only dreamed of. I can find interactive websites where my students can watch sports medicine in action assisting the athletes they idolize. My students can view actual medical procedures and marvel at the seemingly miraculous feats doctors can perform using the most current medical advances. For kids who rarely step foot out of their neighborhood or venture to a doctor's office, this will open up a whole new world of wonder and awe. It will give them some of the same experiences kids from higher socioeconomic backgrounds enjoy regularly.
You can broaden the horizons for these bright kids who might otherwise never know what awaits them. You could inspire future doctors, nurses, surgeons, and medical researchers. I could have a child sitting in my class right now who will come up with a cure for cancer or some other devastating disease. All this child needs is for you to open the door for his journey to begin.
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