School & Community News

Health, healing were HNW takeaways in 2021-22
September 13, 2022

The vast majority of students who participated in the Healthy NewsWorks program last year learned something new about both health and healing, a new evaluation found. 

Our theme for the 2021-22 program year was How We Heal: Moving Ahead in Challenging Times, and 80% of surveyed students reflected upon different methods of healing learned through the Healthy NewsWorks program. Among the healing topics mentioned by participants were therapy, green prescription, coping, and mindfulness.  

Illustration by Suhaylah

“What I have learned this year is that we should take some time to relax, because a lot of things are going on in our life,” one student wrote in their evaluation. The student said they gained a better appreciation of nature by “looking all over our beautiful world.”

Additionally, 94% of surveyed students reported learning about a health topic, such as vaccines, and 93% said participating in their health newspaper was a meaningful experience.

Meanwhile, their teachers reported that participants improved their writing and research skills, and gained health knowledge to boot.

All 10 teachers in our Core Reporter classrooms who responded to our survey said that the Healthy NewsWorks program provided the students with skills or knowledge that they would not otherwise be exposed to in school, including gaining knowledge about health topics and learning how to research and write articles. The teachers who participated in the program said they also benefitted, learning new teaching skills and enhancing their knowledge.    

The evaluation included mid-year reflections from 124 students in 4th through 8th grades from seven Philadelphia schools and year-end reflections from 66 students in 4th, 5th, and 7th grades from five Philadelphia 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.