School & Community News

Healthy NewsWorks reaches a milestone
March 3, 2018

March 2018 … The Healthy NewsWorks student media program is pleased to announce that it has begun operating as an independent nonprofit organization. As of early March, it has graduated from the New Beginnings Nonprofit Incubator at Resources for Human Development, which had been its fiscal sponsor since 2010.

The move has no effect on the school programs under way this year in 14 Philadelphia-area elementary and middle schools but will enable future growth as Healthy NewsWorks seeks to expand its model to reach more students and communities.

The press release below explains the change in more detail.


Healthy NewsWorks enters new phase as independent nonprofit
Resources for Human Development applauds program’s graduation from New Beginnings Nonprofit Incubator
DREXEL HILL, PA, March 2, 2018—Healthy NewsWorks, a health-focused student journalism program operating in 14 Philadelphia-area elementary and middle schools, has become an independent nonprofit organization after graduating from the New Beginnings Nonprofit Incubator at Resources for Human Development.

The transition marks a significant step for the 15-year-old program that has worked with more than 1,000 students in 32 schools, mostly in economically disadvantaged communities, and published more than 425 unique newspapers since its founding in 2003. Healthy NewsWorks trains students ages 8 to 14 to understand how to find accurate health information and share it with their schools and the wider community.

“We are thrilled to be taking this next step in our development, which has been driven by the strong support we’ve received and the incredibly hard work of our student journalists, classroom teachers, school administrators, board members, and hundreds of community members,” said Marian Uhlman, Healthy NewsWorks cofounder and executive director. “We are deeply grateful to Resources for Human Development for its support in helping us reach this milestone.”

“We are excited to see Healthy NewsWorks leave the nest and take charge of its destiny as an independent nonprofit,” said Frank DiStefano, program manager for the New Beginnings Nonprofit Incubator. “It has done an exemplary job of laying the groundwork for long-term sustainability and we are confident it will continue to educate children and their communities about health for years to come.”

Healthy NewsWorks engages elementary and middle school students in producing fact-based health publications and multimedia. In the process, these young reporters deepen awareness and understanding on topics such as physical activity, nutrition, and stress. In May 2018, the program will publish its seventh book, Leading Healthy Change In Our Communities 2018.

The reporters learn that it is serious business to find trustworthy information and turn it into accessible nonfiction reading material. They see how their reporting and writing can make a positive impact on other people. In turn, their fellow students receive a resource to enrich their literacy skills and health knowledge. During the 2017-18 school year, Healthy NewsWorks is also piloting a “Hearty Kids” program focused on heart health with more than 160 junior reporters ages 5 to 7.

Over the next three years, Healthy NewsWorks intends to establish a fully integrated model that will allow more schools to tap into the program’s expertise and resources on a self-directed basis. As part of this effort, Healthy NewsWorks will develop a train-the-trainer program, enhance web-based learning, and further develop educational materials and lesson plans that are aligned with educational standards.

Resources for Human Development (RHD) is a national human services nonprofit with the broadest possible service mission, and specializes in creating innovative, quality services that support people of all abilities wherever the need exists. RHD’s New Beginnings Nonprofit Incubator has helped several startup nonprofit organizations develop skills and build their capacity and effectiveness in the Philadelphia region since 1982. More than 50 nonprofit organizations have graduated from the Incubator, including the Please Touch Museum and The Philadelphia Public School Notebook.

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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.