KIPP Philadelphia Charter School joins the Healthy NewsWorks network


November 2012…Healthy NewsWorks has welcomed a new partnership this fall with KIPP Philadelphia Charter School.  KIPP, or the Knowledge is Power Program, currently serves nearly 32,000 students nationwide.

Interest in partnering with Healthy NewsWorks began when Jenny Gwin, KIPP assistant principal wanted to incorporate a journalism program into the school's enrichment program. The result is Fit Advocate, KIPP’s “healthy” paper. Ten seventh and eighth graders serve as reporters.

“We are really excited," Ms. Gwin said. The students "get to have a real audience at their school.”

English teacher Erin Susalla serves as faculty advisor for the Fit Advocate and oversees newspaper staff meetings two days each week. Ms. Susalla said she previously taught journalism in Las Vegas and looks forward to showing the students how to “evaluate their sources” and to show them “what good journalism looks like.”

Fit Advocate journalists have just wrapped up a story on KIPP’s new water-only policy which stipulates that students may only bring water to school to help them stay hydrated. Juice and milk options are also available in the school cafeteria.  

The students are also writing about the change of seasons, how teachers stay fit, and the school's participation in the Presidential Fitness Challenge. The students are “making sure that the community is informed by healthy choices,” Ms. Susalla said.

Ms. Gwin is proud of the work that KIPP students have already put into the Fit Advocate. She said they are “working hard for something that is important to them and are able to see how that product makes a difference to others.”

—By Amanda Kennedy

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