December 2021 … To engage more children in Healthy NewsWorks, our faculty teams up with teachers whose students are not currently enrolled in either our Core Reporting or Cub Programs. (Our Core Reporting program typically operates in a classroom through the school year, while the Cub Program is a five-lesson sequence for students grades K to 3.)
Recently, Mia Blitstein, our program manager, worked with Ms. Quinn’s fourth grade classroom at Gotwals Elementary School in the Norristown Area School District on a special lesson about empathy. The topic had already been discussed in classroom lessons, but Healthy NewsWorks added another layer and the opportunity for the kids to write for their newspaper and our website.
A number of the reporters were newspaper veterans who participated in their school health newspaper last year as third graders. For example, Katelynn, whose reflection has been published to By Kids For Kids, was one of the Healthy Press’ staff members last year and also contributed to our 10th book, Doing the Undoable in Pandemic.
Other students in the class considered ways they could show empathy to others. Edwin wrote that he would show empathy by asking people questions about their lives, looking at people who are talking, and helping people when they are sad. Keyden said that he would treat people as he would like to be treated. Alasia wrote that she could show empathy by helping people, such as helping her mother clean or helping a teacher carry supplies; and by giving to those in need, such as the homeless.
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If you or a teacher you know would like a special lesson from Healthy NewsWorks, contact Mia Blitstein (firstname.lastname@example.org). Topics include skills to write a letter to the editor, to interview and to identify reliable information, as well as empathy and stress reduction.