As a part of the Living Libraries program, the teachers are required to attend continuing education training sessions each month. Lucia and Nancy lead these, teaching reading strategies to the teachers. Past years, these training sessions have focused solely on reading strategies, but they decided that this year, since CUDA’s mission is to promote holistic wellbeing, they would try to do just that. Lucia has asked Jeremy to lead a few sessions on ethics and the PuraVida team to teach on health.
I taught the first session on why health matters. We want these elementary school teachers to realize the important job they have and that their health affects their job which affects the learning of the students. And also that being healthy means being in good health physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.
We weighed each teacher and took their blood pressure and glucose. Then, based on this information, we provided each teacher with some general health knowledge on nutrition and tips about how to live a healthier life. The majority of the teachers drink sodas and so this month’s goal was to decrease the amount of sodas they were drinking. By aiming for small steps each month we hope to cause a bigger lifestyle change over the course of the year.
As a way to motivate all of us to be healthier, we are having a “Biggest Loser” competition. The goal is for each person to lose some weight each month. When I introduced this to the teachers, they seemed excited about it. All of the CUDA staff is also participating in the competition alongside the teachers.
The work that the Living Libraries team does is amazing and has such a lasting effect on schools, which in turns benefits the students. Our prayer is also that what the teachers learn in these ethics and health sessions can better the teachers’ lives and in turn affect the lives of their students.