School & Community News

2 schools restart health newspapers
November 21, 2022

It’s hard to believe, but this is Healthy NewsWorks’ 20th school year.

During that time, we have worked in more than 40 schools in the Philadelphia region. And we are thrilled that several schools have engaged with our program continuously for more than a dozen years.

We are also thrilled that two schools that had dormant programs have asked to relaunch their school health newspapers this year. Coincidentally, they are both called Healthy Times and in the Norristown Area School District. One is at Hancock Elementary School and the other at Stewart Middle School.

Hancock last published in 2015, while Stewart’s last paper was 10 years ago.

Hancock’s newspaper is anchored by 14 fourth graders eager to share their findings on the many benefits of walking in their first issue, and other health topics in the year ahead.

“I feel honored because I am one of the first reporters to do work for the Healthy Times in seven years,” one Hancock reporter said. Another said she hopes that readers “learn about how to stay healthy.”

Nancy Perez, school librarian, is the editor of the Healthy Times. “I am excited to spark their interest in writing and journalism and also teach them skills they can carry throughout their lives,” she said.

Plus, she said, “they have the opportunity to research interesting topics and inform their readers.”

At Stewart, we have two reporting classes in sixth and eighth grades with a total of 44 young health journalists. The newspaper staff even includes several “veteran” reporters who participated in their elementary school Healthy NewsWorks newspapers.

Caitlin McGorry and Lauren Bissland, the sixth- and eighth-grade Stewart teachers who are heading the project in their classrooms, said their students are excited about this opportunity. 

“My students seem really engaged in the interview process and love practicing their interview skills,” Lauren Bissland said. “Some of them have even practiced interviewing with me, and I love their professionalism!”

Dana Deminico, instructional support teacher, invited Healthy NewsWorks back to Stewart. “It is so important right now to make learning relevant and engaging,” she said. “Healthy NewsWorks is going to provide rich learning experiences for our students that connect them to our community and the world. I can’t wait until our learners see their writing published!”

Welcome back, Hancock Healthy Times and Stewart Healthy Times!

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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.