The Donate Life Kentucky State Team was in Rockcastle County earlier this month to present the “Life is Cool” program to all Rockcastle County students in the 4th and 5th grades. A special thank you to Diana Thacker, KODA Client Services Coordinator who has worked with these events across Kentucky, she was instrumental in working with Superintendent David Pensol to bring the program to her home county.
The program was a hands on, in-house ‘field trip’ that helps students better understand how healthy choices keep one’s body healthy. The curriculum included 5 weeks of lessons in the classroom and is followed by an in house demonstration of ten stations that show how organs, tissues and eyes benefit by choosing a healthy lifestyle at an early age.
Each station concentrated on a specific function of the body, and some of the stations included the use of pig organs to provide a visual of how the body’s system’s work, such as seeing the lungs inflate and deflate as we breathe, and how the muscles of the heart actually work. They showed the effect unhealthy choices has on the body systems, such as too much salt and fat in one’s food, and too little exercise.
Members of the DLKY State Team were present, as well as local hospital staff, organ transplant patients, and volunteers that helped students to understand the importance of staying healthy. Students and teachers also learned about organ and tissue donation and transplantation, and the importance of the donor registry when people need a transplant (www.donatelifeky.org) and how one person can save 8 lives and help up to 50 more people.
Life is Cool helped our students better understand how their choices at an early age may affect their health and well being as they grow older, and shows how unhealthy choices affects their bodies. With obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure prevalent throughout Kentucky, the program lays the groundwork for the students to make healthy choices now. This program was presented free of cost in partnership with the DLKY team, Rockcastle Regional, Southern Kentucky Area Health Education Center, Rockcastle County School District, Rockcastle County Middle School, Rockcastle Community Education, and Rockcastle Area Technology Center Health Sciences students and Rhonda Childress, RATC teacher.Sherry Spragens, Education Coordinator with Southern Kentucky Area Health Education Center and Logan Taylor, student in the RATC Health Sciences Program discuss the organs in the body with students from Roundstone Elementary School as demonstrated with the organ vest.
About Donate Life Kentucky State Team
The Donate Life Kentucky State Team is dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Life is Cool is one of its’ initiatives to help people better understand how lives are saved through the generosity of one individual and how people that need transplants receive them. Its members include: Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates, Kidney Health Alliance of Kentucky, Kentucky Circuit Clerks Trust for Life, Kentucky Blood Center, University of Kentucky Lions Eye Bank, University of Louisville Lions Eye Bank, National Kidney Foundation, University of Kentucky Transplant Center, Kentucky One Heath/Jewish Hospital Transplant Center, and LifeCenter of Ohio.