Our annual  evaluations indicate that the Healthy NewsWorks program gives the participating student reporters more confidence and pride in their writing, as well as a thorough understanding of the health topics introduced.

We have maintained an active qualitative and quantitative evaluation program since 2007 to help shape and inform our programming. We have presented our program to The College of Physicians, Section on Public Healthy and Preventive Medicine (2014), Pennsylvania Public Health Association (2011), and the American Public Health Association (2009).

Read about our 2013-14 results
See the 2012-13 evaluation summary

Interviews with teachers and principals have found:

  • Healthy NewsWorks publications are a tool for reading enrichment.
  • Students enjoy reading what their peers write and apply it personally.
  • The program reinforces Pennsylvania literacy standards.

In a systematic review of a sample of papers, an evaluator found that a typical edition issue addresses six of the eight National Health Education Standards.

Student journalists

“I learned that there [are] a lot of ways to keep people and yourself healthy and safe.” – Sixth grade student reporter

  • 90% of student reporters who participated in medicine safety lessons were able to correctly define a medicine, able to explain at least one way medicines can help people, and provide at least one safety rule to follow when taking a medicine (2012-13 results)
  • 95% of student reporters who participated in medicine safety lessons were able to identify who can give medicine safely (2012-13 results)
  • 83% of reporters surveyed expressed an improvement in their writing (2012-13 results)
  • 72% of students in participating schools read, enjoyed and learned something from their Healthy NewsWorks newspaper (2008–2009 results)
  • 73% of students learned something about being healthy from reading the newspaper (2008–2009 results)
  • 83% of student reporters said participating in the program improved writing skills including writing, creativity and vocabulary (2009–2010 results)
  • 80% of student reporters identified the importance of sourcing information they used (2009–2010 results)

Student readers 

“I read about a teacher . . . she runs every day. I think I should get outside more than I usually do.”

  • 80% would recommend that other schools have a Healthy NewsWorks paper (2008–2009 results)
  • 73% said they learned something about being healthy from reading the paper (2008–2009 results)
  • 72% enjoyed their school’s newspaper (2008–2009 results)


“Students are learning about health/wellness and applying it to their lives”

  • 76% of teachers surveyed expressed interest in having their students participate in the newspaper in the future (2012-13 results)
  • 71% of teachers expressed that students bring the newspaper home to their families (2012-13 results)
  • 5% of teachers discussed newspaper content in their classroom (2008–2009 results)
  • 81% of teachers believe the newspaper has positive impact on health beliefs and attitudes of their students (2008–2009 results)
  • 100% of teachers recommended that other schools have a Healthy NewsWorks paper (2008–2009 results)
  • 96% of participating teachers recommend Healthy NewsWorks paper to others (2006–2007 results)
  • 56% of teachers have used Healthy NewsWorks as a classroom instructional tool (2007–2008 results)


“My son has become more aware of what’s healthy and what’s not”

  • Two-thirds of parents who read the newspaper reported a positive impact on the eating habits or attitudes of their children (2007–2008 results)
  • 90% of parents recommended that other schools have a Healthy NewsWorks paper (2007–2008 results)
  • 70% of parents discuss the newspaper with their children (2006–2007 results)

Promising Practices

In 2009, the Healthy NewsWorks program in Upper Darby was highlighted in the “Promising Practices” report, compiled by Project PA, a collaboration between the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Food and Nutrition, and the Penn State University Department of Nutritional Sciences.  These “Promising Practices” were submitted by Pennsylvania schools related to Coordinated School Health. Coordinated School Health is an initiative of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which includes eight components which work together to address students’ health needs and contribute to improvements in health and learning.
Read the Results (Upper Darby on p. 25)