School & Community News

3 new members of Advisory Board
October 28, 2015
Laurie and Monica

Laurie Hack (left) and Monica McGrath

October 2015…Healthy NewsWorks is pleased to welcome three new members to its Advisory Board:

• Aviva Habib, an elementary school teacher in Camden, N.J., who has previously coordinated Healthy NewsWorks newspaper programs in three Philadelphia-area schools.
• Laurita (Laurie) Hack, a professor emeritus of physical therapy at Temple University.
• Monica McGrath, a former vice dean of the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Aviva has been involved with Healthy NewsWorks since 2009, when she first worked with Director Marian Uhlman to implement the program at a school in Philadelphia. In her experience, she said, she has seen the program teach students how to find answers to crucial questions, a vital skill in navigating life challenges and situations. She’s also seen the program help students gain the confidence to make conscious choices.

Most importantly, Aviva said, she has seen students who considered themselves incapable of success learn that they can be recognized for positive things—when their names, illustrations, and stories were published in their school’s health newspaper or a Healthy NewsWorks book.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity” to be on the board, Aviva said. She is looking forward to helping bring the program to “schools, communities, and especially to the students who can benefit so greatly from the opportunity to read, write, learn, and speak about the health of our communities,” she said.

Laurie has been a Healthy NewsWorks supporter for about four years and joined the board last year. “As a physical therapist I know how important it is for people to understand their own bodies and what they can do to stay as healthy as possible,” she said. “I also love to read and write. So a program that help kids develop in all of these areas seems a perfect match to me!”

Laurie said she has been impressed by the dedication and commitment of the teachers and the enthusiasm of the students, and she believes the program develops indispensable life skills such as reading and writing in the context of learning about health. She hopes to use her organizational skills to bring increased efficiency and effectiveness to Healthy NewsWorks.

Monica has extensive administrative and teaching experience and has worked as a consultant and executive coach to senior executives and their teams. She has been involved with Healthy NewsWorks for several years, helping with some of the first strategic planning sessions.

One of her goals on the board is to help grow Healthy NewsWorks as an organization and expand its resources and connections.

“I value the opportunity to contribute to the well-being and education of young children,” she said. “I feel our interaction in the schools can and will make a significant long-term difference for children and help teachers and school administrators find creative ways to supplement their good work in the classroom.”

She also notes that the “organization is grounded in good science, connected to the classroom through the commitment of the teachers and principals, and it’s fun!”

To learn more about the Healthy NewsWorks Advisory Board visit our Who we are page.

—By Adele Thornton, Healthy NewsWorks volunteer

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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.