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  • May duBignon Stiles Howard: For the Future of Our Children

    May duBignon Stiles Howard left sleepy Brunswick to attend nursing school in New York City. Returning to Georgia she became a nurse in Savannah, married a local doctor and rose to be president of the Georgia Medical Society. In education Howard led the Savannah Parent-Teacher Association to focus more on children's health and well being--including children with special needs. Appointed by Governor Talmadge to the President's educational council, she was also Savannah's Woman of the Year in 1953, and received May Howard Elementary School named in her honor.

    Support Materials

    Discuss

    1. Why is it important for a school to address the nutritional needs of a student?

    2. How did May Howard's background as a nurse play a role in her involvement with the PTA?

    Expansion

    1. Discuss: How might your school look differently without May Howard's advocacy and involvement with the PTA?

    Vocabulary

    Parent-Teacher Association: a formal organization composed of parents, teachers, and staff that is intended to facilitate parental participation in a school
    hygiene: the things that you do to keep yourself and your surroundings clean in order to maintain good health
    at-risk children: students who require temporary or ongoing intervention in order to succeed academically
    advocate: a person who argues for or supports a cause or policy

    For Teachers

    Discussion Guide

    1. Why is it important for a school to address the nutritional needs of a student?
    A student's basic needs must be met in order for him to be able to learn. If a child is hungry, it is very difficult for him to focus on academics. Today, schools serve as a resource hub to ensure a student's basic needs--such as health, nutrition, and clothing--are met. 

    2. How did May Howard's background as a nurse play a role in her involvement with the PTA? 
    As a nurse, May Howard understood the importance of receiving proper medical treatment. As a member of the PTA, she pushed to promote better nutrition, medical services, and hygiene in and out of schools.

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