Every month, Tilden Elementary Center holds a Student of the Month assembly to honor the students that best represent the six pillars of character. January’s assembly also had a special presentation to kindergarten students in Miss Reinert’s class who represent the six pillars by being a pal to a fellow classmate who has a severe peanut allergy.
“First of all, we have so many students in our schools that come to school every day with extra challenges in life,” said Dr. Shawn Fitzpatrick, Tilden Elementary Center principal. “What impresses me most about everyone in our school is that we always help each other.”
Mrs. Sharp, whose son John is highly allergic, presented his classmates with certificates and medals for helping Protect A Life (PAL Hero) on a daily basis for her son.
“This group of kindergarteners has been awesome al year in making sure that they take good care of their friend and neighbor in their classroom,” said Fitzpatrick. “I also want to commend Miss Reinert who is a teacher that protects a life every day. Excellent job.”
Fitzpatrick shared five tips from PAL on how to protect friends with food allergies. Tip one is that pals of a friend with food allergies should not make jokes about the allergies. A person should never try to trick someone into eating something that they are allergic to. Tip two is to not share or trade food with someone who has allergies. Even if it does not seem like anything in the food should cause a reaction, there may be an ingredient that is harmful. Even if a person thinks the food is safe, it is not worth taking the risk. Tip three is to always wash your hands after eating. Just as with germs, any small amount of food on your hands can transfer to desks, books and any other items that you touch. If someone allergic touches an object that has a trace of what they are allergic too, it is possible for them to have a reaction. The best way to prevent that from happening is to always wash your hands after eating. Tip four is to ask your friends what they are allergic to. There is nothing wrong with asking. Once you know, you can check ingredient labels, pick places to eat that take steps to help prevent allergic reactions and have safe food to eat at your house when friends come over. This will always make it possible to ask parents to make safe lunches for when you sit with your fiend during lunch. Tip five is that if a friend with an allergy has a reaction, call for help immediately. The quicker someone with an allergic reaction can get help, the better.
Fitzpatrick gave the example of desk and lunch neighbors being aware of allergies and taking steps to protect their friends. He suggested that students make the decision that they will not have any of whatever ingredient or food that their neighbor is allergic to for that school year.
While this specific class was honored during the assembly, Fitzpatrick stressed how “great” the students in Tilden and Perry were to everyone. The students at the school are always helping their fellow classmates and doing their best to model the six pillars and aid their peers.