Brain Tumour Foundation offers free school lesson plans

Tara Malone, a teacher at Riverside Secondary School in Windsor is shown on
Thursday, April 1, 2021. Malone was on a committee organized by
the Brain Tumour Foundation that developed specialized lesson plans.
PHOTO BY DAN JANISSE /Windsor Star

 

Understanding more about brain tumour survivors is the goal a new national educational resource program developed with the help of two Windsor residents.

Ryan Palazzolo, a University of Windsor student, and Tara Malone, a teacher at Riverside secondary school, were on a committee that created more than 20 lesson plans for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.

The Superkids Program launched last week, offering free lesson plans for students from Grades K-12.

The committee behind it is a mix of patients, survivors, teachers and post-secondary students.

Malone was one of four teachers who helped shape the curriculum.

“I think it was important to have pre-ready lessons with handouts and activities, especially this year when teachers are so overwhelmed,” said Malone, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on normal classroom delivery.

Malone taught a brain tumour survivor several years ago and her son’s friend is also a survivor.

“A lot of teachers don’t know how to approach a student whose had a brain tumour,” Malone said. “That’s part of the Superkids Program, to build that understanding.”

Brain tumours can affect people in different ways. They can cause memory loss, personality changes, difficulty speaking or processing thoughts.

“I think it’s important to get everyone on board with those struggles,” said Palazzolo. “That’s what I really like about the program. I know it wasn’t something I learned in grade school or high school.”

Janic Gorayeb, a senior health specialist with the foundation’s London office, led the project that put a focus on education, empathy and empowerment. Gorayeb and the committee designed the materials to be used by teachers, parents and students.

“There’s a lot of great information about brain health and about empathy and kindness,” Gorayeb said. “There’s a lot of parents homeschooling right now because of the pandemic that could use this.”

Gorayeb says the materials they’ve launched are “just the tip of the iceberg.”

The goal, she said, is to launch another six lesson plans in May, which is Brain Tumour Awareness Month.

That’s when Malone hopes to roll out a few of those lesson plans in class as she looks for student volunteers to help with the annual Brain Tumour Awareness Walk, scheduled for June 27.

The walk will be held virtually again this year due to the pandemic and it will be coordinated with similar events across Canada on June 27. That day was chosen because every day 27 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour in Canada.

The foundation will contact schools and school boards across Ontario about the program and eventually hopes schools across the country will take part.

Courtesy: https://windsorstar.com/news/local-news/brain-tumour-foundation-offers-free-school-lesson-plans

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