Purple Day started when Cassidy Megan, a lovely kid from Nova Scotia, Canada, came up with the idea of wearing something purple to educate people about epilepsy.
Suffering from her own seizures, she wanted to tell the others that they’re not alone. In 2008, the Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia supported her idea and it led to an event celebrated every March 26th of the year.
As a teacher, there are a few things you can do to support the cause. Here are four ideas you can integrate into one of your classes.
Invite a Neurologist for a Talk
You can always share what you know about the disorder. However, if you want someone who understand the complications of a human brain, inviting a neurologist can be a perfect idea. He or she can clarify the nature of epilepsy, its causes and preventive measures. They can correct the myths that your students have regarded as true all these years.
Create a Project About Epilepsy
Ask your students to conduct a thorough research about seizures and with their creativity, let them come up with an activity or a project about it. It can be a colorful bulletin board for the entire school to read some information about the disorder.
It can also be a short educational video or presentation that can be uploaded on the Internet for accessible viewing. How about playing an all-about-epilepsy game that they themselves have conceptualized? That would be fun!
Encourage Them to Wear Purple
Wearing a purple shirt is the direct way of supporting the cause. If your students have to put on their prescribed uniform, there will always be alternative options. You can make use of wristbands, ribbons, bookmarks, socks, cards, wrappers, banners, etc.
You can suggest to give purple flowers to other people, send purple cards to friends or have a purple paper folding activity.
Handle Epileptic Seizures Calmly
If you have students who are diagnosed with epilepsy, never treat them in a different way. They are not mentally challenged, cursed nor violent people. In fact, many successful professionals and famous people have suffered with epilepsy. The famous Vincent van Gogh, Sir Isaac Newton and Leonardo Da Vinci were among them.
Talk to the student’s parents, to better understand his or her health condition and equip yourself with basic first aid skills to help the child during seizures. Remind the class to do the same as well.
Supporting Purple Day through these insightful activities will definitely increase your students’ level of awareness. Consequently, they will be able to empathize with people stricken by epilepsy, Cassidy’s ultimate goal.