Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Taking Diabetes to School - A Leveled Reader

When the Naturally Sweet Sisters were in elementary school, much of the first few years were spent increasing their knowledge of phonics, sight words and reading skills.  The mutual goal set by school and home was to create an environment in which grabbing a good book was as routine as picking out an afternoon snack.  Our ultimate hope was to instill a culture where a good book (and maybe an apple!) was devoured with glee.

Unfortunately, in the early age of leveled readers, not all story content was met with enthusiasm.  About five books contained information on trees and around the second or third read, our daughters found themselves begging for something with a bit more sparkle and flair. Anything with relevance into their own lives would have sufficed because in all honestly, rarely did the playground talk contain discussion about trees.

This week, one of our T1D families received a sweet surprise from a kindly teacher.  Upon openng their son's backpack, a special leveled reader appeared:  Diabetes and Me by Gabrielle Fimbres.

Diabetes and Me


Interview (nonfiction), 536 words, Level L (Grade 2)
Nine-year-old Mia is one of almost three million children and adults in the United States living with type 1 diabetes. Mia must take special care of herself to live a healthy and active life. Diabetes and Me is an informational and inspiring interview with Mia. Readers gain insight into the day-to-day life of someone with type 1 diabetes through detailed text and informative photographs.

Why does a book like this matter?  In a world where little factual information is known about Type 1 Diabetes, having a relatable and informative book for children is a step towards a future filled with acceptance, empathy and compassion for all.  

Imagine children (and adults) reading vocabulary words such as blood sugar, carbohydrates, diabetes, glucose and insulin.  These words are part of every family's lexicon that lives with Type 1 Diabetes.  Sharing the story and the context of each of these words is a powerful equalizer and shows that nothing within T1D is strange or scary.  Kids that are taught together, grow together.  

To learn more or to share with your school, pass along this link.  

#leveled #reader #diabetes #school 

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