School & Community News

Three reporters receive 2016 Distinguished Journalist Award
June 9, 2016

June 2016… A student reporter from Hope Partnership for Education and two student reporters from St. Martin de Porres Catholic School are the recipients of this year’s Healthy NewsWorks Distinguished Journalist Awards. The awards are given each year to eighth grade reporters who have been leaders on their school papers, have participated in the “Leading Healthy Change” book project, and have gone above and beyond in their participation of the Healthy NewsWorks program.

Shyann Davis, a student at Hope Partnership for Education, has been a part of the Healthy Hope staff since she was in sixth grade. Highlights of Shyann’s career on the Healthy Hope include being part of the teams that interviewed Dr. Ana Diez Roux, dean of the Drexel University School of Public Health, for the 2015 book, and Dr. Frederic Bertley, Ph.D., senior vice president of science and education at The Franklin Institute, for the 2016 book. She also interviewed the president of the Independence Blue Cross (IBC) Foundation at IBC’s national childhood wellness conference in 2015.

“In her three years on the Healthy Hope, Shyann has grown in confidence as a reporter and in her interactions with interviewees,” said Sister Rose Martin, Executive Director of Hope Partnership for Education. “And, her interest in science has been supported by her involvement with Healthy NewsWorks. Next year she’ll be able to pursue her goal to be a scientist as she will attend high school at The Science Leadership Academy.” The Science Leadership Academy is a partnership high school between the School District of Philadelphia and The Franklin Institute.

Samantha Knox Johnson and Skye Debnam are reporters on the St. Martin de Porres Healthy Saint. Both reporters contributed to the article about Dr. James W. Buehler, a former Philadelphia health commissioner and a professor at Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health, for the 2016 book.

Samantha never declined a request to accept additional responsibility for various projects, including contributing to an educational video about the Ebola virus that was shown to students in Sierra Leone. “Samantha was a consummate reporter this year, and she exudes poise beyond her years. She truly relishes interviewing her subjects,” said Maria Dana, a teacher and editor-in-chief of the Healthy Saint.

Skye frequently assumed a leadership role among peer reporters and was always willing to lend a hand. Said Ms. Dana, “Skye has demonstrated a true commitment to her work as a reporter for the Healthy Saint. Always keenly attentive to detail, Skye modeled the importance of accuracy in reporting and worked conscientiously to produce timely articles.”

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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.