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School & Community News

Looking back on the stories of 2022
December 26, 2022

Healthy NewsWorks had a remarkable 2022, defined by the talent and enthusiasm of our student reporters! It’s been an inspiration to see them learn to interview experts, seek out accurate sources, and share their findings with others. We hope you enjoy revisiting some of the highlights! 

Winter

Winter found our reporting teams hard at work on their school newspapers and starting to plan and conduct interviews for a book and a film.

One of those interviews earned a mention in the Congressional Record. A few days after two student reporters spoke with Dr. Tami Benton, psychiatrist-in-chief at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, she testified before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee about youth mental health and cited the student reporters’ questions as questions all Americans should be asking. 

Spring

In May, we updated the Healthy NewsWorks logo and brand identity to reflect our program’s growth and evolution beyond print into web and digital communications. Board Member Omar D. Joseph, who chairs the board’s Marketing and Communications Committee, said the redesign “allows us to update our presence to come in line with the world we live in.” 

We also welcomed Ellyn Jo Waller, Ed.D., to our board of directors. Ellyn Jo is an advocate and educator who is engaged in civic as well as humanitarian efforts. She was a special education teacher in Ohio, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania, and continues to advocate on behalf of students with special needs. Learn more about our board.

Later in May, we celebrated the launch of our 11th book, How We Heal: Leading Healthy Change in Our Communities 2022, and the world premiere of our 22-minute film, “How We Heal,” at our 2022 Film and Book Fest. Student ambassadors representing the 360-plus students on our Core Reporting newspaper teams talked with Healthy NewsWorks supporters about their experiences. NBC10 anchor Tracy Davidson joined student film participants on stage after the screening to emcee a talkback.

You can read our book online. The film is available for private screenings in classrooms, community organizations, or companies by contacting Healthy NewsWorks Program Manager Mia Blitstein at mblitstein@healthynewsworks.org or Outreach Manager Diane Davis at ddavis@healthynewsworks.org.

Summer 

As the 2021-22 school year ended, our student reporters shared with us what they had learned about healing. Topics included: setting boundaries, coping skills, mindfulness, and taking time to relax.

Jordan and Sara, two eighth graders from East Norriton Middle School, were honored as our 2022 Distinguished Journalists. In addition to their work on the school’s Bulldog Bulletin newspaper, Jordan and Sara were among the student journalists contributing to our film. 

In September, Eve Smith, M.Ed., joined our teaching staff. “Providing students with experience to think critically, question their world and environment, interview, and work beyond what they think is possible is invaluable work to all individuals,” she said. Meet the rest of the Healthy NewsWorks team.

Once classes resumed, we introduced our 2022-23 reporting theme, “Caring for Our Earth and Ourselves.” Some of the reporters’ work considers the environmental and health benefits of such activities as walking instead of riding in a vehicle, drinking water from reusable bottles, and disposing of electronics appropriately. 

We’re excited to have 15 schools participating in our program this fall, including two schools that have relaunched programs after a hiatus of a few years.

Fall

In October, we introduced a top-to-bottom redesign of our website, featuring bright colors, eye-catching student artwork, and updated messaging on primary Healthy NewsWorks activities and objectives. The new site is easier and faster to navigate while integrating our By Kids, For Kids platform more fully and better positioning content for use by teachers and students.

Our film, “How We Heal,” gained a larger audience in October when it was selected for the 2022 San Diego International Kids’ Film Festival along with more than 145 film projects from more than 30 countries. The Healthy NewsWorks film was named Best Children’s Media winner, and other winners included films from Hungary, Norway, South Korea, Taiwan, across the United States, and other countries.

All of this work—the book, the film, the rebranding, the expansion of our team, and everything else we do—is only possible because of the support of many individuals and community organizations. Most recently, we were honored to be chosen as one of 38 community-based nonprofit organizations nationally to receive funding through AstraZeneca’s Accelerate Change Together (ACT) on Health Equity: Community Solutions Challenge. 

THANK YOU to everyone who has joined us on this journey during 2022. 

In 2023, we are looking forward to publishing our first magazine and to sharing more with you about what student journalists are learning and reporting. 

Here’s to a Happy, Healthy New Year! 

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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.

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