Elementary, including Chestnutwold Elementary School, and middle school student journalists interview Philadelphia-area health leaders for new book.
Book-signing event at Merion Tribute House planned May 31 for “Leading Healthy Change In Our Communities.”
Student journalists from several Philadelphia-area elementary and middle schools recently wrote and illustrated a book of interviews with community leaders who have something important to say about health. The book, “Leading Healthy Change In Our Communities,” includes work by nearly 50 students involved in the Healthy NewsWorks student media program in Delaware, Philadelphia and Montgomery counties.
The book is a new venture for Healthy NewsWorks, which works with students to produce health-focused newspapers in their schools.
“This project gives our student journalists another way to promote healthy living and literacy among their peers and in their communities. It’s been a remarkable experience for the journalists and the interviewees alike,” said Marian Uhlman, Healthy NewsWorks director.
Student reporters from 11 different schools participated in the book project including: Cole Manor Elementary School, East Norriton Middle School, Eisenhower Science and Technology Leadership Academy, Gotwals Elementary School, Hancock Elementary School, Marshall Street Elementary School, and Stewart Middle School in the Norristown Area School District; Hope Partnership for Education, an independent school in North Philadelphia; Henry C. Lea Elementary School in the Philadelphia School District; Chestnutwold Elementary School in the School District of Haverford Township; and Highland Park Elementary School in Upper Darby School District.
"I enjoyed working on the book because we had a chance to interview people who helped people in different ways," said Malvin Vega, a reporter for Hope Partnership’s Healthy Hope newspaper. Ashlin Nepumuceno, another Healthy Hope reporter, agreed. "It felt good to do something that helps other people’s health," said Ashlin.
The book interviewees included Mary Seton Corboy, cofounder of Greensgrow Farms; Municipal Court Judge Patrick Dugan, presiding judge of Philadelphia Veterans Court; Joseph A. Frick, vice chairman and managing partner, Diversified Search; Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Sarah Martinez-Helfman, founding executive director, Eagles Youth Partnership; Dr. A. Scott McNeal, vice president and chief medical officer, Delaware Valley Community Health, Inc.; Dr. John A. Rich, chair of health management and policy, Drexel University School of Public Health; Lucas Rivera, executive director, Artists and Musicians of Latin America; Liz Scott, co-executive director, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation; Tanya Thampi-Sen, community nutrition program manager, Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger; Stanford Thompson, executive director, Play On, Philly!; and Dr. Flaura Koplin Winston, professor of pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania, and scientific director, Center for Injury Research and Prevention, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Healthy NewsWorks will celebrate the student journalists’ accomplishments with a book-signing and fundraiser event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on May 31, 2012, at the Merion Tribute House in Merion Station, Pa. Dr. Walter Tsou, who teaches health policy at the University of Pennsylvania and is past president of the American Public Health Association, will give the keynote address at the book-signing event and wrote the book’s foreword. “Among the topics you’ll learn about,” Dr. Tsou says in the foreword, “are why music is good for health; why it is better to walk away rather than fight; what motivates someone to work with hungry people; and how a little girl with cancer and a lemonade stand changed the world.”
More information about Healthy NewsWorks and online registration for the book-signing event at www.HealthyNewsWorks.org. Suggested donation $60.
Started in 2003 at an Upper Darby, Pa., elementary school as a collaboration between journalist Marian Uhlman and second grade teacher Susan Spencer, Healthy NewsWorks is rooted in the principles of preventive medicine and public health. During the 2011-2012 school year, nearly 200 students in 13 schools are working on newspapers which are distributed to more than 6,000 children and their families in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
The newspapers function like miniature city newsrooms with high journalistic standards and oversight. The student journalists conduct interviews, participate in press conferences, and write and illustrate stories on fitness, nutrition, safety, and more. Through this process they develop research and critical thinking skills. The newspapers themselves promote and heighten health awareness; provide a source for reading enrichment; support and encourage readers to adopt better health habits; address National Health Education Standards; and reinforce Pennsylvania literacy standards.
Healthy NewsWorks is a member of the New Beginnings Nonprofit Incubator at Resources for Human Development, Inc. (www.rhd.org).