Walking to my office this morning, I was greeted by a sea of pink. Department employees were decked out in pink shirts, dresses, ties, and coats, recognizing October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And, I am proud to report that Florida’s school districts are taking their recognition a step further, ensuring that our valued educators are the healthiest in the nation.
Health professionals agree that our best tools in the fight against cancer are prevention and early detection. Taking this message to heart, many districts have implemented innovative health and wellness programs for teachers and school staff.
For example, the Marion County School District partnered with a local mammography provider to perform mammograms every third Tuesday of the month for district staff. To ensure that busy educators can receive this life-saving breast cancer screening, the provider increased its hours from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Manatee County also provides free breast cancer screenings to district employees and their families at participating providers. During October, the district held wellness seminars giving teachers vital information about cancer detection methods and treatment.
Brevard district employees do things a little differently, fighting breast cancer with enthusiasm and a bit of humor. Along with offering on-site mammograms, district staff members host events focused on educating co-workers and the public.
The district’s “Put on Your Pink Bra” campaign raised awareness and more than a few eyebrows as one male employee dressed as a “cancer-slugging” superhero, complete with a pink, flowery bra. To read his story and more about the district’s brave cancer survivors, click here.
I applaud all of Florida’s districts for their commitment to the health and wellness of their employees, especially those at risk for breast cancer. Teachers and school staff are continually putting the needs of students above their own. These important programs put our teachers first.