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Rare Diseases Lessons: The road to inclusion begins in the classroom

May 17, 2021

Rare Diseases Lessons: The road to inclusion begins in the classroom

In a year in which educators were more heroic than ever, Sarepta Therapeutics was thrilled to honor a few teachers through the Rare Lessons lesson planning contest.

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This blog post highlights the Sarepta Therapeutics’ Rare Lessons Program

In a year in which educators were more heroic than ever, Sarepta Therapeutics was thrilled to honor a few teachers through the Rare Lessons lesson planning contest. 

Designed to promote the development and implementation of rare disease learning and awareness in the K-12 classroom setting, Rare Lessons is built around the belief that learning about rare diseases early on sets the foundation for inclusion in the classroom and enhanced education throughout students’ academic lives. The contest resulted in the publication of four winning lesson plans from four extraordinary teachers.

“Each of these lesson plans is unique, but share in their creativity, passion and innovative thinking aimed at building awareness of rare diseases and promoting diversity and inclusion within the classroom and community,” says Diane Berry, senior vice president of global health policy, Government and Patient Affairs, Sarepta.

Sarah Kesty, an education specialist at Castle Park Middle School in Chula Vista, Calif., and Rare Lessons recipient, lives with Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease. As a teacher, advocate, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association advisory board member, Kesty works to improve the school and life experiences of students from all walks of life and abilities.

“This is the type of empathy and understanding building I wish for all classrooms,” Kesty says.

“It has been amazing to see the passion and drive educators have to bring awareness to rare diseases and promote more understanding and inclusion in the classroom. Our Rare Lessons award recipients and others like them will make a difference in how young people perceive differences and relate to each other,” says Hannah Rosenberg, a member of the patient affairs team at Sarepta.

Learn more about the authors of the winning lesson plans below.

Laura Doyle, Atlanta International School, Atlanta:  Rare Diseases Lesson

Jessica Keogh, West Chester Area School District, Exton, Pa.: Empathy

Sarah Kesty, Castle Park Middle School, Chula Vista, Calif.: The Mystery of Rare Diseases

Kaitlin Payne, South Topsail Elementary School, Hampstead, N.C.: Not Weird, Just Different

Sarepta is grateful to be a Share My Lesson partner and have the opportunity to share the lesson plans with such a great audience.   

Feel free to reach out to [email protected] for any questions about the program.

Sarepta Therapeutics
Sarepta Therapeutics is a global biotechnology company on an urgent mission: to engineer precision genetic medicine for rare diseases that devastate lives and cut futures short.  We have more than 40 programs across our portfolio and currently have clinical programs in development for patients with... See More
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