School & Community News

Healthy NewsWorks expands into New Jersey
November 3, 2021

November 2021 … This fall, 15 Healthy NewsWorks classrooms are hard at work on the first issues of their healthy school newspapers—including our first programs in Camden, N.J.

The Catholic Partnership schools based in Camden are St. Joseph-Pro Catholic School and Sacred Heart Catholic School. In addition, we have launched two new programs at Inquiry Charter School in Philadelphia and at Joseph W. Catharine Elementary School in the School District of Philadelphia. 

All classrooms in our Core Reporter program for students in grades 3–8 are starting out with our bootcamp, a series of six lessons focused on journalism fundamentals: skills in research, interviewing, sourcing, and writing. The students’ first topic is the green prescription: How spending time in nature benefits one’s physical and emotional health. 

Along with the new schools, several long-standing programs in the Norristown Area School District have resumed: Cole Manor Elementary (now in its 16th year with Healthy NewsWorks), East Norriton Middle School (13 years), Gotwals Elementary School (11 years), and Whitehall Elementary School (14 years). In Philadelphia, returning programs include William Cramp Elementary School in the School District of Philadelphia (eight years) and La Salle Academy (nine years). 

Also returning this fall are James Logan and William Rowen Elementary Schools in the School District of Philadelphia and DePaul Catholic School, an Independence Mission School in Philadelphia. Inquiry Charter and DePaul are offering the program in two classrooms each.

Our Camden program is unique because we are working simultaneously with two classrooms, using video technology. At the moment, we are visiting all our schools remotely because of COVID-19 limitations and precautions. 

We anticipate several more schools joining the Healthy NewsWorks network as we do our best to accommodate as many as our capacity permits.  Plus, we will deliver our Cub Reporter program in grades K–3 in a number of schools and provide special lessons for additional classrooms to give students who are not otherwise in the program exposure to health-related information and reporting.

Core Reporter news teams have already posed questions about nature to past Healthy NewsWorks leaders Joanne Douglas, youth program manager at Bartram’s Garden, and Waffiyyah Murray, manager of the City of Philadelphia’s Better Bike Share Program. Student journalists have also interviewed a pediatric resident from St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and teachers and administrators in their schools. 

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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.