London teens team up to educate kids on diabetes in two languages
LONDON, Ont. -- A new book written by students, for students, in two languages, aims to educate kids and their families about diabetes.
Grade 12 student Preston Swan-Merrison lives with type one diabetes.
“On my good days it’s not so much of a hassle, but I have to keep things consistent and like testing my blood sugar, taking my insulin at the right time.”
Using his first-hand experiences, Preston approached his Spanish teacher with the idea of writing a book about diabetes for kids that would be dual language, in both Spanish and English.
“It was amazing because it’s a student-led activity. It’s completely something that they came up with the concept...they translated the book and all the students illustrated the pages so it’s a very fantastic initiative that he brought forth,” says teacher Colette Beneteau.
The project began last year. Students in the Spanish class at Monseigneur-Bruyère Secondary School worked together to create the book, which is called The Big Button Saves The Day.
The project also gave students the opportunity to learn about type one diabetes themselves.
“I learned so much...I had no idea how complex the disease was and as I was working I was learning new things,” says Grade 11 student Christy Nsengiyumba.
That's something that Preston hopes the book will do for many others as well.
“Hopefully people get the understanding that they aren’t the only ones out there and we are like a community - the Type 1 diabetes community - and just to have the 'We are there for each other' sense and to help in that manner.”
The book is currently available at the downtown London Public Library and the Beacock Library on Huron Street and Beneteau says the hopes are to have it distributed to more locations in the future.
“It outreaches for a younger demographic so we are really hoping that it’s something that can be used as a resource at the library to learn about type one diabetes.”
The book is also available to purchase on Amazon.