School & Community News

Healthy Highlights from 2015-16
June 6, 2016

June 2016…A public health award, a fifth book, reporting field trips, and two peer-to-peer public service videos shown in Sierra Leone. These are just a handful of the highlights from the busy Healthy NewsWorks school year.

More than 300 student reporters in 14 schools published more than 42 health-focused school newspapers this year. And of those 300 students, about 90 were involved in producing our fifth book Leading Healthy Change In Our Communities 2016. The health leaders interviewed included a top science educator from The Franklin Institute, a former Philadelphia health commissioner, and an anti-hunger advocate, among others. The book was officially launched on May 24.

Throughout the year, the student reporters also interviewed an array of community leaders and experts for their school-based newspapers and video public service announcements. For example, student reporters interviewed:

In March, students and teachers in Freetown, Sierra Leone, watched peer-to-peer videos featuring student reporters from the St. Martin de Porres Healthy Saint and the St. Veronica Healthy Hero. Our reporters collaborated on the two videos with KidsGive, a Lawrence University-based nonprofit that raises money for children to attend school in Sierra Leone. The videos, which give basic information on handwashing and the Ebola virus, will be shown to more students in the West African nation in December.

In May, Healthy NewsWorks received a public health award from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, one of the nation’s oldest professional medical associations. The award is given each year to recognize an organization that has made substantial contributions to the health of the community through work in public health. Healthy NewsWorks was chosen “for its work to promote health and literacy by engaging elementary and middle school students to address intellectually and creatively the health issues that confront their generation,” according to the award plaque.

Other 2015-16 highlights:

  • Reporters from the East Norriton Bulldog Bulletin and the St. Veronica Healthy Hero visited Quest Laboratories in Horsham to collect information about lab work for their papers.
  • Students from the Marshall Street Healthy Bulletin and the Whitehall Healthy Reporter toured the emergency department at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery and turned in articles for their school communities.
  • William Cramp Fit Flyer reporters visited the Community College of Philadelphia, including its dental hygiene program. Gotwals Healthy Press reporters learned about nutrition at a Whole Foods Market and Cole Manor Healthy Comet reporters followed up their book interview with Steveanna Wynn, the executive director of The Share Food program, with a tour of the program’s warehouse.
  • As part of our “Healthy Smiles” special topic this year, Healthy NewsWorks organized a poster contest in which students had the opportunity to create posters to convey a message about good dental health.
  • Students also had the chance to taste-test some new foods and beverages with Amy Deahl-Greenlaw, a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) working with Healthy NewsWorks. Students learned how different fruits and beverages affect dental health, and they also learned a healthy and delicious way to get more calcium in their diet through a kale and yogurt smoothie called “Kale-ci-Yum.”

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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.