September 2011…Healthy NewsWorks will team up with Hope Partnership for Education during the fall of 2011 to launch a health journalism program at an independent middle school in North Philadelphia and its surrounding community.
Hope Partnership works under the mantra “breaking the cycle of poverty through education” and aims to help students in the neighborhood achieve academic success. The partnership operates an independent middle school that serves about 55 students each year. It also offers an adult educational program.
The new venture is expected to allow a Healthy NewsWorks publication to engage directly with the community on several important levels.
Sister Rose Martin, executive director of Hope Partnership, said students will interview community members. She hopes the healthy newspaper will be available at neighborhood health centers.
“I am excited about the combination of journalism and health issues and the integration of learning through the process of writing and reporting,” she said.
Sister Rose believes Healthy NewsWorks will encourage critical thinking skills in students. Students will also learn to distinguish fact and opinion, and to identify good sources of information, she said.
A focus on health is extremely important for the kids, said Sister Rose. The paper will help educate students about such pressing public health concerns as diabetes, asthma, violence and drug abuse.
By working with Hope Partnership, Healthy NewsWorks hopes to provide a medium through which students and the community connect to enhance the community’s understanding of health and health literacy.
During the 2010-11 school year, Healthy NewsWorks operated in 12 schools in Philadelphia, Montgomery and Delaware counties, reaching approximately 6,000 students and their families.
—By Emily Eisner, Healthy NewsWorks intern