School children from grades five to nine in Yaroslavl, Russia have created a novel ‘tool’ to help promote bone health at all stages of life. The children in school No.3 / O.V. Izotov created bookmarks which are decorated with text and images to encourage healthy lifestyle and good nutrition. The school children will give the original crafts to their grandparents and teachers to raise awareness about osteoporosis. 

English teacher, M. K. Zakharova, said:

"The kids learned a lot of interesting information about osteoporosis. They want to share this information among their friends and relatives through the bookmarks, which relate important messages about bones, healthy lifestyle and nutrition – all important to know early in life while osteoporosis can still be prevented. The children put a lot of love and creativity into their task, because they believe that the information will really help people. This is not the first year we’ve discussed bone health, but we talk about it clearly and in different ways so it is always of great interest for both children and staff.”


As well, Dr. K. Yu. Belova, PhD, Head of the Regional Treatment and Diagnostic Center for Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis, member of the Presidium of the Russian Association on Osteoporosis (RAOP) gave a lecture for children and adults online and answered numerous questions on the occasion of the Day of  Health. 

Every year pupils of the school also take part in a series of activities within the framework of World Osteoporosis Day, which in Russia has been organized and carried out since 2011 by the All-Russian patient  society OSTEORUS (Headed by Dr. O.B. Ershova, PhD, professor  at the Therapy Department of Yaroslavl Medical University, the Institute of Postgraduate Education, Vice-president of Russian Association on Osteoporosis) with the support of RAOP and Centers of Osteoporosis all over the country. The organizations have extended activities beyond World Osteoporosis Day as they communicate messages about osteoporosis prevention systematically throughout the year. 

As well as informative lectures, many practical and enjoyable methods of learning have been used throughout the years, including children’s quizzes, a competition for the best recipes of nutritious foods rich in calcium, sports competitions, contests of children's drawings and poems, scenarios for performances in kindergartens, a calendar with recommendations from specialists -  and even even an osteoporosis-related fairy tale for children! 

Inspired by the desire to use appealing new educational tools, the Russian patient society OSTEORUS has been a pioneer in finding creative ways to communicate prevention messages to children and their families. Thanks to these efforts, the message, that a healthy lifestyle from an early age will help avoid osteoporosis-related fractures and maintain active longevity at older age, is being widely shared and passed on from young to old.

The bookmarks are shared with family and friends, including with the older generation most affected by osteoporosis.