Our program educates fifth graders to recognize, treat and understand seizures and epilepsy. Additionally, the program promotes tolerance and engenders positive attitudes towards people with epilepsy.
Fifth graders who participated in the program had an average 12 point increase in knowledge compared to non-participants, who had an increase of 2 points. The Anita Kaufmann Foundation is the exclusive United States licensee and distributor of this curriculum unit developed by the Epilepsy Support Centre of London, Ontario, Canada.
The program addresses epilepsy-related issues experienced by grade school children by educating them that stigma begins when individuals are labeled and categorized, and these actions lead to rejection and discrimination. The way to combat this is by bringing knowledge about the issue, which leads to changed attitudes. It was determined that the best place to start was with fifth graders, influencing them while they are still open-minded.
The program consists of a 30-minute scripted educational program that is aligned with educational curriculum objectives. The program uses posters, photographs, a television commercial and role playing to get its message across. The role playing is unique because it consists of one of the two presenters simulating a real seizure towards the end of the presentation, deliberately provoking the children to put into practice what they have just learned. Follow-up studies show that knowledge and attitude were positively affected by participating in the program.
The Anita Kaufmann Foundation, in partnership with the Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey, has begun implementing the fifth grade program in New Jersey. Our plan calls for reaching about 8,000 fifth grade students this year.
Our ultimate goal is to reach every fifth grader in the United States annually.
If you are interested in finding out more about the fifth grade program, would like the program brochure or bookmark shown below, or to learn how to become a Fifth Grade Program Educator, please contact Debra Josephs at (201) 655-0420 or fill out our contact form.
Please see below for samples of some of our supporting materials: