Healthy start to new school year

November 2011… Nearly 200 elementary and middle school students in the Philadelphia area are busy this fall working on stories about community gardening, winter safety, and nutritious snacks for their schools’ healthy newspapers.

Twelve schools in Montgomery, Delaware, and Philadelphia counties had launched their Healthy NewsWorks programs by mid-October. At Marshall Street Elementary School in the Norristown Area School District, the newspaper staff had its first meeting on the first day of school.

One highlight has been the introduction of new “story starters,” a set of materials developed by Healthy NewsWorks to help students think through their strategies for reporting and writing articles that respond to the community’s health needs and interests. Students also will be learning more about how to identify accurate and timely health information on the internet.

“It’s very exciting to see the students become stronger and more versatile journalists,” said Marian Uhlman, Healthy NewsWorks director. “The new materials have helped get them off to a fast start and made the program an even richer experience for them.”

Marshall Street, along with Hancock Elementary School and Eisenhower Science and Technology Leadership Academy in Norristown, wrapped up their first issues in October to be sure they could offer timely safety tips for Halloween.

The other schools participating so far this year in the Healthy NewsWorks program are:

– Chestnutwold Elementary School in the School District of Haverford Township
– Cole Manor Elementary School in the Norristown Area School District
– East Norriton Middle School in the Norristown Area School District
– Gotwals Elementary School in the Norristown Area School District
– Henry C. Lea Elementary School in the Philadelphia School District
– Highland Park Elementary School in the Upper Darby School District
– Hope Partnership for Education in Philadelphia
– Philadelphia Montessori Charter School
– Stewart Middle School in the Norristown Area School District


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