School & Community News

Students reporting on effects of pandemic
December 14, 2020
Illustration by Maribel, eighth grade, AMY Northwest Middle School

December 2020…The coronavirus pandemic and its effects on people’s everyday lives has been a primary topic for Healthy NewsWorks student reporters this fall.

The students in Philadelphia and Norristown elementary and middle schools reported on topics as varied as stress reduction and getting adequate sleep in their first newspaper issues of the 2020–21 school year. All programs have been conducted virtually because of the pandemic.

Reporters for the Waring Healthy Times delved into the impact of gun-related deaths, which have climbed in Philadelphia and elsewhere during the pandemic. Their reporting spurred them to invite students in the school to record their thoughts on gun violence for a future issue.

At William Cramp Elementary School, the staff of the Fit Flyer interviewed author Lesa Cline-Ransome, who has written two dozen children’s books, including one about germs—another important fall topic for Healthy NewsWorks staffs. Reporters at St. Veronica Catholic School and Gotwals Elementary School listened to Ms. Cline-Ransome read her book Germs: Fact and Fiction, Friends and Foes on YouTube and will review it for their fall newspapers.

Reporters at Cole Manor Elementary School had many questions for Lorraine Brown about what she has experienced as a front-line nurse during the pandemic. Ms. Brown works in the emergency department at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia.

Jennifer Lin visited with AMY Northwest Middle School reporters to discuss her new film, “Beethoven in Beijing,” which describes the long relationship between the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chinese people. Ms. Lin is a co-producer, co-director, and writer of the documentary. She answered questions about the power of music to heal and build friendships. The health benefit of friendship is a topic that many Healthy NewsWorks staffs will be covering in the months ahead.

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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.