School & Community News

A new book, unique reporting experiences, and public health messages in 2012-13
June 25, 2013

June 2013…Thanks to more than 200 student reporters, their teachers, and many supporters, Healthy NewsWorks published 42 health newspapers in Montgomery, Philadelphia, and Delaware counties during the 2012-13 school year.

More than 70 students contributed to writing and illustrating Leading Healthy Change In Our Communities 2013. The book profiles a dozen leaders in the Philadelphia area who are creating healthy and safe environments for children. It is the second book produced by Healthy NewsWorks and is proving to be a wonderful opportunity for student reporters to deepen their journalistic skills and increase their health knowledge.

Lawrence McKenny said he felt “like a real reporter” when he and a fellow student interviewed Dr. Mariana Chilton who is a national expert on hunger issues and associate professor at Drexel University School of Public Health.

“The interview was a unique experience that we will hold onto for the rest of our lives,” said Lawrence who just finished sixth grade at Philadelphia Montessori Charter School.

Like many reporters, Alyse Nichols said she did not know what to expect from her newspaper experience. “I had never even looked through a newspaper before,” she said. “But when I started interviewing people and drawing illustrations, I felt more confident.”

The sixth grader at Hope Partnership for Education said her article about how her grandmother copes with diabetes “helped others understand what it is like to live with a loved one with an illness.”

“Healthy NewsWorks taught me what it means to be safe and healthy,” she said. “More importantly, it made me teach the readers about important topics.”

Her classmate, Kione Gray, also recognized the impact the health paper can make on his community.

“For one moment in their lives, our readers might be inspired to do better in school, help others with health issues, and learn what it means to be healthy for themselves and everyone around them,” he said.

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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.