School & Community News

Back-to-school update
September 20, 2011

September 2011…

Dear Friends,

In just a few weeks, our students will clutch their new reporter’s notebooks and set out to conduct their first interviews of the school year. For most, it will be for the first time.

They are often nervous and tentative beforehand, but relish recounting the experience afterwards. “I could not stop smiling. That’s how much fun it was,” said a fourth grader last year.

Before long, they are old hands at identifying stories and asking plenty of questions about health topics that are important to them and their peers.

To open up more opportunities for our student journalists, we’re building web-based resources to give them easier access to reliable, age-appropriate health information. The new resources also will give them background to develop their own stories.

We also intend to pilot videoconferencing this year so the young journalists can interview people who may be miles or even oceans away. For more classroom support, several new volunteers have signed up to lend a hand in our schools in Montgomery, Delaware and Philadelphia counties.

We are excited that we’ve been invited to give a poster presentation about our program results at the Pennsylvania Public Health Association meeting in Philadelphia in September. We also are developing new workshops and training for school staff, volunteers and community members.

Our program is evolving quickly, thanks to the help of our advisory board, volunteers and generous contributors. Our newspapers are making a real difference. We are deeply grateful for the talent, creativity and commitment of our teachers, school staffs and young health journalists and we look forward to seeing what they’ll deliver in the year ahead!

With warm regards,

—Marian Uhlman, Healthy NewsWorks director

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Since 2003, Healthy NewsWorks has been empowering elementary and middle school students to become researchers, writers, and confident communicators who advance health understanding and literacy through their factual publications and digital media.