September 2012… Healthy NewsWorks is embarking on its 10th school year this fall. We’ve come a long way since our first years at Hillcrest Elementary School in Upper Darby where we started introducing young students to the skills of professional health reporting. Since then, our program has grown and evolved through the help of hundreds of students, educators, healthcare providers, volunteers, donors, and parents.
To date, our student journalists have written and illustrated more than 200 newspapers for their school communities. They have interviewed local and national health leaders and covered such important topics as hunger, bullying, physical activity, adequate sleep, and fire safety.
Last year, about 50 students produced our first book, “Leading Healthy Change In Our Communities.” The book represents a new milestone for Healthy NewsWorks.
All their good work has made the students in our program the subject of stories by WHYY-FM’s Newsworks, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The (Norristown) Times Herald, among other media outlets. It’s been thrilling to watch students develop the confidence not only to ask good questions of others, but to give thoughtful responses when interviewed.
We’ve presented our work to both the American Public Health Association and the Pennsylvania Public Health Association.
We are poised this year to further enrich learning experiences for our student reporters and their school communities. Our goals include:
- Publishing a second book of profiles of people in the Philadelphia area who are making our communities healthier.
- Expanding health literacy workshops for children, educators, and the community.
- Broadening opportunities for children to produce health reports.
- Working with educators to develop a teacher guide for our book and newspapers.
Of course, we are gearing up for an exciting year of delivering health news and information through our Healthy NewsWorks school newspapers.
Thank you for your continued enthusiasm and support!
–By Marian Uhlman