School & Community News

Third graders find SquashSmarts leader inspiring
November 19, 2017

Illustration of squash players by Gabrielle Savage, Leading Healthy Change In Our Communities 2017.

November 2017… Third grade reporters at Community Partnership School recently wrote a letter to Stephen Gregg, the executive director of SquashSmarts, to let him know that his work inspires them.

They had read about him in Healthy NewsWorks’ recent book, Leading Healthy Change In Our Communities 2017. Mr. Gregg was one of 12 health leaders featured in the book who are making the Philadelphia area a healthier place for children and families.

“You teach students the importance of staying in shape, getting enough sleep and eating nutritiously,” the third grade reporters on the CPS Healthy Herald staff wrote. “We appreciate the fact that you also focus on building relationships.”

More than 750 copies of the 2017 Healthy NewsWorks book have been donated to children, teachers, and classrooms. The book also can be read online.

Writing a letter to a health leader is one of several ways students in schools engage in the Healthy NewsWorks program. Student letters often appear in school newspapers, on the Healthy NewsWorks website, and in the Leading Healthy Change books.

Below is the full letter written by the Healthy Herald staff:


Stephen Gregg
Executive Director
Philadelphia, PA

Dear Mr. Gregg,

We are the third grade staff of the Healthy Herald newspaper at Community Partnership School. After reading about you and SquashSmarts in Leading Healthy Change in Our Communities 2017, we were inspired by the work that you do.

We have come to believe that the work you do is inspiring because it not only teaches students about the sport of squash but also about necessary life skills that students can use for the rest of their lives.

For example, you teach students the importance of staying in shape, getting enough sleep and eating nutritiously. We appreciate the fact that you also focus on building relationships. At Community Partnership School, we also value building strong relationships with those in our community.

We also admire that you and your staff go above and beyond for your students. For example, when you helped that teenager get back on track and helped him graduate, you were not only being a coach but also a supporter and mentor.

If you did not do this type of work, we wonder where the students would build the life skills that you are teaching. One skill in particular is resiliency. We think that this skill is a great skill to learn through sports and to use in your daily life. You have modeled for your students the value in being resilient.

At Community Partnership School, one of our core values is compassion. You have inspired us to go out into the community and be more compassionate by finding ways to help others who need it.

Thank you for all that you and your staff at SquashSmarts have done. You are helping to shape the lives of teens in Philadelphia.

Yours truly,
The Healthy Herald Staff

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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.