School & Community News

Whitehall Elementary School rejoins the Healthy NewsWorks network
November 25, 2012

November 2012…After a two-year hiatus, the Healthy Reporter will be published again at Whitehall Elementary School in the Norristown Area School District.

Whitehall librarian Janet Martin is the paper’s new editor in chief. She replaces a faculty advisor who no longer teaches at Whitehall.

“I enjoy having the chance to get to work with individual students and in smaller groups than the classroom allows,” Martin said.

Martin oversees a newspaper staff of a dozen third graders for about 50 minutes once a week. It’s “a way for students who have more initiative to begin to learn how to work on their own and be more independent,” she said.

Martin also appreciates Whitehall teachers’ willingness to coordinate times during the week when the Healthy Reporter journalists can conduct short interviews with school staff and students.

The student reporters have been busy interviewing the school nurse, the cafeteria manager, PE teacher, and principal, among others, about how they help make the school a healthy place. Their responses will be included in an article in the first issue, which, according to Martin, is expected to be published in December.

Hurricane Sandy has inspired an article, too. With safety in mind, the student reporters are finding out how others in the school community prepared for the storm’s arrival and protected themselves during the storm, Martin said.

She said the reporters have been growing in confidence with their interview skills. She looks forward to the school’s reaction to the publication of the first issue.

“It is important for students reading the newspaper to know it is done by students,” Martin said, “and for kids to see their name as the writer, as the author, as the reporter.”

—By Amanda Kennedy

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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.