September 2011…Gotwals Elementary School in Norristown, Pa., has become the newest member of the Healthy NewsWorks student media program.
Thirty third grade reporters have formed the first staff of the Gotwals Healthy Press under the leadership of their teacher, Ms. Katie Sortino.
“You get to go around and ask people why health is important,” said one third grade reporter. Another reporter said, “it gives students a chance to experience journalism.”
The first issue, published in June, includes articles about the school’s healthy snack program, summer safety tips and book reviews on health-related topics.
“The Gotwals Healthy Press has helped our third grade students learn to reason, reflect and respond to the world around them,” said Gotwals Principal Jeannette Fernandez. “It has provided them with the tools to organize their thoughts and ideas and with the ability to analyze the complexities of their own school community in a coherent and meaningful way.”
During the 2010-2011 school year, Healthy NewsWorks oversaw programs in 12 schools in the Philadelphia region, including seven in the Norristown Area School District.