August 2011…During the past year, students in 12 schools produced 37 Healthy NewsWorks publications, including three translated into Spanish.
Healthy nutritional choices and different ways of exercising were featured in almost every issue. “I learned what to eat and what not to eat,” said one middle school student.
Students wrote about why it is important to eat fruits and vegetables, and tasted and reviewed healthy recipes. The taste test helped “us and our readers learn to look at food labels and determine what snacks may be healthier to eat,” wrote one student.
Other topics included identifying strategies to reduce bullying, making Earth a healthier place to live, and attending to one’s mental health by sleeping, reading, and listening to music. Students also addressed safety involving bikes, cold weather, and even social media.
Among community members they interviewed were Matt Bradford, a state representative from Montgomery County; Dr. Walter Tsou, former president of the American Public Health Association; and Fred Mann, a vice president at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
In the process of reporting and writing, students said they and their readers became more aware of health issues.
“I learned that health comes first and in many forms,” said a fourth grader. “You have to be not only physically healthy, but mentally healthy too.”