Instructions: Read the Case Study below and discuss the questions that follow:
Aron, a single father, is raising his daughter on his own.
“Naomi is a good girl, you know?” She does her homework, and she likes hanging out with me. She even laughs at my jokes still, but sometimes I worry that she’s going to become anorexic or something,” he says. “She’s not overly thin or anything, but she just doesn’t eat like I think she should. Breakfast is the toughest time. We end up yelling at each other every morning before school with me running behind her as she heads downstairs and out the front door of our building, and me yelling, ‘Here! At least take this!’ and I stuff a banana or an apple in her backpack, while she yells, ‘Dad, you’re embarrassing me!’ Sometimes I look up, and, oh man, she’s right. Sometimes there are other kids at the corner waiting for the bus and here she is, my sweet little Naomi with her crazy dad grabbing at her backpack! Poor baby, but it drives me crazy that she won’t eat!”
1. As soon as the nutritionist mentions breakfast, Aron throws his hands up and says, “No, don’t even talk about it, man! Breakfast is like our worst thing! She’s such a picky eater, and mornings are her worst time.” What advice can you offer?
2. Aron’s income is 25% below the poverty level for the United States. He asks, “How do I find out if Naomi is eligible for reduced-price school lunches?” What might you advise Aron?
3. As it turns out, Naomi does qualify for reduced-price lunches at her school. However, things don’t go very well. She often comes home from school hungry. Aron, who can find only part-time work 3 nights a week, meets her at the door most days and is distressed, he says, to find that “her stomach is actually growling, and she’s all weak and listless. She’s asked if she can go back to packing a lunch, even though my lunches aren’t very good. Usually, all we have in the cupboard is some pantry food such as peanut butter, saltines, and raisins.” When he asks her why she wants “our lousy lunch stuff,” she says, “Everybody sees who gets the ‘poor kid’ lunches. I get made fun of.”
Suppose you are the school nurse at Naomi’s school. Brainstorm about ways you might support students like Naomi.
Consider the role and responsibilities of school nurses—on the levels of both the individual child and the family, as well as their influence on their particular educational system and the community at large.
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