South first graders learn about Feeding Tube Awareness Week

The week of February 6-11 is designated as Feeding Tube Awareness Week. As part of South Elementary’s goal of learning about the uniqueness of others, classrooms will be reading and discussing the book, “The Abilities in Me: Tube Feeding.” This is a picture book that is dedicated to children who are tube fed and explores the journey of a young girl who tells her story of being tube fed through bright, colorful illustrations and text.”

On Monday, February 6, South Elementary parent Allison Ellingson visited her son Han’s first grade classroom to talk about how Hans relies on a feeding tube to provide him with his daily nutrition and hydration. Hans is one of two students in Ms. Welter’s first grade classroom and one of five students at South who are dependent on feeding tubes. To simulate the flow of a feeding tube, students experimented using syringes and a variety of colors of paint. 

According to the Feeding Tube Awareness Foundations’s website, “About half a million children and adults in the United States alone rely on feeding tubes, a number that is expected to increase. Feeding tubes are not just for those at the end of life; they provide necessary nutritional support for children to live, grow, and thrive. There are well over 350 conditions and diseases that can require tube feeding in children.

“The mission of Awareness Week is to promote the positive benefits of feeding tubes as a lifesaving medical intervention. The week also serves to educate the broader public about the medical reasons that children and adults are tube fed, the challenges that tube feeding families face, and day-to-day life for an individual who is tube fed.”