Education, Health, Sci-Tech

Golden Ring Middle School earns one of 20 national food allergy awareness grants

ROSEDALE, MD—Golden Ring Middle School is one of only 20 national recipients of a FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) inaugural Collaborator Community Impact Award. Golden Ring Middle is the only grant recipient in Maryland.

“As a health science magnet, our school is committed to informing and improving the health of our students, staff, and community,” said Principal Charlyne Maul. “We start by educating our students via a theme across disciplines and then ask them to use their knowledge to enlighten our community through public service, relationships, and partnerships. So far this school year, our students, staff, and community have participated in a virtual community health fair and breast cancer awareness thematic units. The FARE grant will help us in taking on the new and ubiquitous health issue of food allergies. We are very excited!”

For this grant program, FARE partnered with the National Parent-Teacher Association and National Association of School Nurses to invite their members to apply for funding of up to $750 for food allergy education programming and support in Title I/Title I-eligible schools. Title I schools are defined as schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families. These schools receive federal funding to help ensure that all children meet state academic standards.

Golden Ring Middle School will use the funds to create a food allergy ambassador program and purchase resources for the cafeteria, health suite, health classroom, magnet classes, and general education classrooms.

“Food allergies are prevalent in many students at Golden Ring Middle School,” said school nurse Angela D’Alto, BSN, RN. “When I saw a grant available for an education program, I knew this would be beneficial for our students. With the funds we received, in collaboration with the health science magnet teacher, Melissa Swecker, we are going to integrate food allergy awareness into the curriculum in December.”

Through the school’s newly created food allergy ambassador program, students will learn food label reading, severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) signs and symptoms, how to administer an EpiPen®, and they will create public service announcements. Students who successfully complete a mini-assessment will become food allergy ambassadors for the school.

“This certification will carry with them through their magnet courses and on to a future career in healthcare,” said D’Alto. “Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening emergency and to have the power to save a life is extraordinary. The opportunity will be available schoolwide through virtual learning opportunities so that any student or teacher can also become a food allergy ambassador.”

“More than 5.6 million children live with potentially life-threatening food allergies – that’s about one in 13 children, or two in every classroom,” said Lisa Gable, chief executive officer of FARE. “A critical part of FARE’s mission is making sure underserved communities have the resources they need. In these under-resourced schools, everyone from teachers to the school nurse to the cafeteria staff plays a role in creating a safe environment for students with food allergies. FARE is committed to doing our part to help everyone better understand this disease, which can be fatal and for which there is no cure.”

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