September 2018 … Students in at least two more Philadelphia elementary schools will soon be able to read health-focused newspapers written and illustrated by some of their fellow students.
Starting this fall, the James Logan and Spring Garden Elementary Schools in the School District of Philadelphia will be among 15 schools participating in the Healthy NewsWorks student media program.
“We’re excited to be working in these new schools and to have some new community collaboration to make it all happen,” said Marian Uhlman, executive director of Healthy NewsWorks. “We’re expecting students from Community College of Philadelphia to help with the program at Spring Garden Elementary. At James Logan, we’re planning some joint projects with Einstein Healthcare Network, our Community Healthcare Champion.”
Healthy NewsWorks teaches elementary and middle school students basic journalism skills so they can produce newspapers, books, and digital media about health, nutrition, fitness, and safety issues. By doing so, these students learn to distinguish facts from fiction, interview experts and other adults, and improve their oral and written communication skills.
Also during 2018-19, Healthy NewsWorks expects to work in 15 classrooms in the second year of the Hearty Kids pilot project, thanks to generous funding support from the Kynett Foundation. The Hearty Kids project introduces journalism concepts to K-2 students with a focus on such topics as what’s a fact, who is an expert, and how to keep their hearts healthy through nutrition, physical activity and stress reduction.
Student reporters in grades 3 to 8 will research and write about how the environment affects heart health as a special topic for the year. One of their first assigments will be to examine why spending time outdoors is important. (Some of the expected answers: It can promote physical activity, reduce stress, and put you in a better mood.)
Another big project for the year will be the eighth Healthy NewsWorks book, Leading Healthy Change In Our Communities 2019. It will feature health leaders who are making the environment healthier for children and families.