2012-13 evaluation results reveal the success and benefits of Healthy NewsWorks

 

For more than ten years, Healthy NewsWorks has successfully worked to improve the health literacy and journalism skills of elementary and middle school students.  The 2012-13 school year was no exception. According to the results of the annual evaluation, students who participated in the 2012-13 program expressed greater confidence and pride in their writing, as well as a thorough understanding of the health topics introduced, including prescription drug safety which was the special health focus for that year.

In order to evaluate the impact of the Healthy NewsWorks program, several pre- and post-tests were given to record changes in understanding of critical concepts such as maintaining healthy lifestyles and journalism techniques such as interviewing etiquette, the need for citing sources, paraphrasing, and proper pronoun and quote use.

Of the 54 students surveyed, 45 expressed improvement in their writing including structure and spelling.  Regarding the special health focus, prescription drug safety, 90% of students who completed the program were able to correctly define medicine, identify safety rules to follow while taking medicine, and articulate who is allowed to safely give medicine.

Based on the raw data and student insight, it is clear that Healthy NewsWorks has proven to have a fulfilling effect, both in and out of the classroom.  As one sixth grade student reported, “When our readers read good articles, they also learn to become better writers. Also, [. . .] our readers might be inspired to do better in school, help others with health issues, and learn what it means to be healthy for themselves and everyone around them.”