What We Do
Healthy NewsWorks empowers elementary and middle school students to become researchers, writers, critical thinkers, and confident communicators who advance health understanding and literacy through their factual publications and digital media.
A Message to Our Community
Healthy NewsWorks believes that every child has the right and the need to acquire health knowledge and literacy skills. We seek to develop children’s powers of inquiry and to enable them to share accurate health information with their community. We design our work to be carried out in an atmosphere of respect for children, families, and teachers, and to help pave the pathway to equity.
Healthy NewsWorks students explore a wide variety of topics through their own research and interviews, discover how to identify trustworthy sources of information, and learn to communicate relevant health information via print and digital media. Our students broaden their knowledge, develop interpersonal skills, become more flexible in their thinking, and learn to question information sources – all skills that will serve these children well throughout their lives.
In these times of contagion, unrest, awakening, and uprising, we reaffirm our long-held belief that each child is valuable and unique, and we understand that our students’ collective diversity strengthens all that we do. We recognize the need for all of us to demonstrate, not just by words, but by action, that Black and Brown lives matter, and we pledge in our work to address racial inequalities in health and in education by what we teach and how we teach it. We will grow our programs and organization so that, in partnership with our schools and communities, our students know that their lives matter and that we have given them the information and tools to make a difference in this world.
Healthy NewsWorks began in 2003 as a collaboration between a journalist and a second-grade teacher to address shared concerns about significant gaps in children’s literacy and health. They viewed these gaps as inextricably tied because solid writing, listening, and communication skills are central to understanding and appropriately using health information.
In partnership with classroom teachers, we have built programs that engage children ages 5 to 14 in authentic health reporting and are aligned with Common Core and National Health Education Standards. Our young health journalists work in teams to research, write, and produce articles and digital materials about health issues that matter to them and their communities. In the process, they develop critical thinking skills, improve their writing, and build confidence, while their school communities benefit from receiving relevant, accurate health information.
Since its inception, Healthy NewsWorks has worked directly with some 4,000 children in more than 40 under-resourced elementary and middle schools in the Philadelphia region. Our school news teams have published nearly 600 school health newspapers, 11 books, and a magazine. In recent years, our reporters also have produced videos and contributed to By Kids, For Kids, Healthy NewsWorks’ online health news service. Each year, we reach more than 6,000 children and adults through dissemination of our students’ health-focused publications.
To learn more about Healthy NewsWorks’ accomplishments and recognition in the communities we serve, visit Our Impact.
See dozens of school-based publications produced by our program.
View the 11 editions in our Leading Healthy Change In Our Communities series.
Film & Video
Check out videos of student interviews with health experts.
By Kids, For Kids
Visit kid-friendly site with health articles, blogs, and illustrations by and for students.