Teachers blend art and science to help kids stay healthy

In “Being Me,” Children’s National Medical Center works with DC Public Schools to create healthier communities

by John FraserSusan HannahMarie Keem
Aug 29, 2014

Key Findings

Over the course of 5 years, health professionals worked with teachers in Washington DC’s public schools to use art and science to help kids in the third to fifth grades learn about actions they and their families can take to stay healthy. The curriculum focused on core aspects of wellness, like preventing asthma and bullying, ensuring good sleep, and promoting nutrition. Through our research, we found that kids play a vital role in making decisions about their own health, and that adapting the activities for after-school settings could bring additional benefit to DC’s communities.

Let’s Put It to Work

For teachers

These resources and approaches are aimed at helping teachers develop skills needed to better teach to the current science standards. This report includes details about what works well to help teachers adapt “Being Me” curriculum for their classes. It also covers the challenges faced by other teachers while using the resources to help newcomers avoid these pitfalls.

For after school educators or facilitators

Educators in community centers, libraries, the YMCA/YWCA, or museums can use these resources to help kids learn about health topics as part of their programs.

For administrators / policy makers

Implementing new curriculum in public schools - no matter how much potential benefit it has for teachers and students - can be problematic. There are always unanticipated obstacles and challenges. This report includes details about some of the difficulties faced by the “Being Me” team and how to better introduce health curriculum into both school- and out-of-school settings.

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

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