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EDUCATIONSUPPORTPROFESSIONALSMeetingtheNeedsoftheWholeStudent13www.nea.orgespDonnaWestChildNutritionManagerBrownwoodElementarySchoolScottsboroAlabamaSugarsnappeasgotathumbsdownbyarst-gradeclassatBrownwoodElementarySchoolthisweekbutDonnaWestisnotdiscouraged.SheknowsthatherstudentsmaynotlikeeverythingthatsoeredthroughtheschoolsFreshFruitandVegetableprogrambutpartofthebattleisjustintroducingthemtonewfoods.Twiceeveryweekourschoolprovidesfreshfruitsorvegetablestoeveryclassroomduringsnacktime.Thisisseparatefromtheirbreakfastandlunch.WevegivenourstudentspapayaavocadokiwistarfruitmangoesandevenfennelandarugulaDonnasays.Thisprogramisnearanddeartomyheartbecausetheygettolearnabouthealthyeatinganditalsoprovidesforthosewhocantalwaysbringinasnackfromhomeshesays.Thatswhywealwaysmakesuretomixinthenewstuwithhealthyfavoriteslikeredgrapesapplesandcarrots.WeknowtheylleatthoseNextweekonthesnackmenuTangerinesAsexplainedbyMelvaRodgersChildNutritionDirectorScottsboroCitySchoolsthisprogramisfundedbyagrantthroughtheUSDAFreshFruitandVegetableProgram.Theprogramisseenasanimportantcatalystforchangeineortstocombatchildhoodobesitybyhelpingchildrenlearnmorehealthfuleatinghabits.AtBrownwoodElementarySchoolalongwithreceivingahealthysnackstudentslearnwherethefruitorvegetableisgrownthedierentvarietiesthatareavailableandhoweatingthehealthyfruitsandvegetablespromoteshealthybodies.ProflesinHEALTHYEachstudententersschoolhealthyandlearnsaboutandpracticesahealthyliestyle.CarmenHillSchoolNurseGatewayElementarySchoolSt.LouisMissouriCarmenhashadtobeginherworkdayearlierthisyear.SheknowsthesheernecessityofcominginearlybecauseoncetheschooldaystartsCarmenistheonlymedicalprofessionalinherschoolbuildingwhocanprovidemedicalservicestosickstudents.AtatimewhenmoreandmorechildrenwithchronicmedicalconditionsareenrolledinpublicschoolsschoolnurseslikeCarmenarebusierthaneverbefore.ThroughoutthedayCarmenisdispensingmedicationmon-itoringstudentswithasthmadiabetesandsevereallergiesperformingrstaidhelpingchildrenwithADHDorbipolardisorderandattendingtothestudentswithcoughsfeversandsorethroatswhopossiblyshouldnothaveattendedschoolthatday.CarmenalsoassessesstudentsforpossibleabusecounselsstudentsthatarebulliedandevenprovidessnackstothosestudentswhoarejusthungryIusuallybuysomesnacksandcerealtohaveinmyocesoifachildcomesinhungrytheyhavesomethingtoeat.Carmenalsosaysthechildrenhavesuchenormousneedsthatitseasytobecomeoverwhelmedbuttheykeephermotivated.Ihavetotakecareofmykidssotheycangobacktoclassandlearnshesays.Therearemanyschoolsthatdonthaveaschoolnurseatallbutmyschoolisfortunatetohaveaschoolnursefulltime.IfIwasntherewhowouldtakecareofthesickkidsTheotherschoolstawouldhavetoprovidemedicaltreatmentandtheydonotpossessthetrainingneededtodothetaskEachyearCarmenalsoworkswithcommunityfoundationscharitiesandbusinessestogetherkidsthedentalandvisioncaretheyneed.SheteamsupwiththeKidsVision4LifeprogramforvisionscreeningseyeexamsandneweyeglasseswhileGatewayDentalprovidesfreedentalcheckupsandproceduresonsite.ThroughouttheschoolyearHealthyKidsExpresscomestoGatewayElementarytoprovideeducationandresourcesforthechildrenandtheirfamiliessueringfromasthma.Theyalsoprovidefreeasthmasuppliesincludinginhalersandspacers.Carmenisnotonlyconcernedaboutherstudentsphysicalhealth.EveryThursdaynineteengirlsmaketheirwaytoCarmensoceaftertheschooldayends.TheyarepartofGirlsRInc.andunderherleadershiptheygettheextrasupportandencouragementtheyneedtogrowintoindependentandresilientyoungwomen.TherearevecomponentstoGirlsRInc.Theyarebeautyhealthandhygienegrowthanddevelopmentnutritionandexercisefashionandetiquette.Carmenteachesthemboththebigandsmalllessonsinlife.WhetheritsaboutcopingwithstressandangereatingtherightfoodsoreventheimportanceofbrushingyourteetheverydayeachoneofherlessonsmakesanimpactOnerecentlessononpubertywasmetwithreactionsofyuckyandgrossuntilCarmenexplainedthatthechangesandmaturingoftheirbodieswerebeautifulandnatural.IalwayshadgreatmentorsgrowingupsaysCarmen.Imjustgivingback.SowhydoesCarmendoitItssimple.Sheloveschildren.Ivebeenahospitalnursefor38yearsandaschoolnursefor20yearsandIlovetonurtureinboththeschoolandhospitalsettingitspartofmygeneticmake-up.Ilovetoprovidethehugsencouragementandinspirationthatallchildrenneed.PatNicholsonHeadCustodianJacksonParkElementarySchoolBremertonWashington