July 2012… A dozen Healthy NewsWorks student reporters learned about dental health at a press conference in Philadelphia hosted by Independence Blue Cross Foundation and moderated by WHYY reporter Carolyn Beeler.
The reporters posed questions to Stacey Benner, education director at Kids Smiles. Kids Smiles provides dental care to thousands of children in Philadelphia, Delaware County, and Washington D.C. who don’t have access to dentists. “The student journalists were outstanding and it was very exciting to watch them grow in their confidence and thought process as the conference proceeded,” said Stacey. “Their questions were interesting and had depth–it was clear that they did their research and had interest in the topic. I love that they took their role seriously–just as professional journalists should!” They also interviewed Lorina Marshall-Blake, president of Independence Blue Cross Foundation, who told them how vital good oral hygiene is for children’s health and what types of organizations and causes the Foundation supports. “We were very excited to host the Healthy NewsWorks press conference and enjoyed getting an up-close look at how this terrific program works,” said Lorina. “The students were a delight. We were so happy to see their enthusiasm, professionalism, and hunger to learn about this important health topic. It’s clear they enjoy participating in Healthy NewsWorks and we look forward to reading all their stories.” Independence Blue Cross Foundation provides grant support to both Kids Smiles and Healthy NewsWorks.
The student reporters will be filing their stories to Healthy NewsWorks school papers and its website. Schools represented by the reporters covering the event included Highland Park Elementary School in the Upper Darby School District; and East Norriton Middle School, Eisenhower Science and Technology Leadership Acdemy, Gotwals Elementary School, and Cole Manor Elementary School, all in the Norristown Area School District.