Laura Moore ,who won a national grant of $5,000 for Warrensburg Elementary to develop an asthma awareness program, greets her son Thomas — who has asthma — after a football practice last fall. Laura Moore and her husband Dean manage their two children’s asthma, while encouraging them to be active in various sports.
Due to a $5,000 grant obtained by a local parent in collaboration with elementary school teachers, children of Warrensburg have been learning about a common syndrome that effects millions of their peers nationwide: asthma.
Due to the grant, Warrensburg Elementary has been providing a range of asthma activities this school year, including a word-search game at school Open House, a public forum with allergy and asthma specialists, and various school-based educational sessions. The teachers were also provided with an asthma training session with Doug Wildermuth of E5 Support Services.
This spring, students in grades 3 through 6 at Warrensburg Elementary School learned about asthma during their gym class and discussed what it might feel like to have an asthma attack. They learned about asthma control, which includes avoiding asthma triggers including smoke, pet hair dander, pollen, dust mites and unhealthy weight.
More than 60 students at Warrensburg Elementary participated in a recent asthma awareness poster contest.
Themes for the asthma education, reflected in the posters submitted, included advice on taking medicine as prescribed, the value of regular exercise, and anti-smoking messages.
Laura Moore, a parent of two children with asthma — Thomas, 10 and Andrew, 7 — was awarded the grant from the Everyone Breathes asthma coalition.
A former Warren County planner, she drafted a grant application — with input from teachers — that garnered $5,000 for the school and a $2,500 savings bond her family which has been stashed for her children’s education.
Moore said that she picked up a flyer describing the grant at a visit to the doctor’s office, and this prompted her to apply. Only 10 grants were awarded nationally through the Everyone Breathes coalition although 900 applications were received.
“When I heard we were among 10 of hundreds of applicants awarded, I was thrilled,” she said. “I never thought our area would win such a grant award, when asthma problems in cities are so intense.”
Teachers Anne Downes and Scott Smith provided input for the grant application.
Molly Wilson of the coalition said that Moore’s submission was chosen because it demonstrated a partnership between the school and community.
“We liked the application from Warrensburg because a parent had worked closely with the school to determine the best way to utilize the grant,” Wilson said. “It was clear that with them working in such a partnership, the money would be used for the intended purpose.”
Moore said that caring for her children with asthma has had its challenges through the years, but she and her husband Dean have remained focused on engaging their children in activities as much as their asthma conditions would allow.
With the support and advice of medical practitioners, both of their boys are involved in a variety of sports including ice hockey, soccer, baseball, football and skiing.
“Actively managing their asthma has been key to maintaining their interest in having fun,” Moore said.
Interactive displays detailing the local students’ activities related to asthma awareness will be on display at an upcoming Wellness and Health Fair to be presented some time in June at the school, Moore said.