Beginning this fall, every public school in Arkansas will now have access to leading online health lessons and activities focused on important topics like bullying, physical activity, and nutrition. The health lessons and activities, provided by HealthTeacher, are designed to build health literacy skills of kids and to promote healthy habits from a young age, and establish personal responsibility for one's own health. Arkansas Children’s Hospital is expanding the distribution of HealthTeacher to all Arkansas public schools at no charge to the districts as part of its ongoing commitment to the health of the state’s youngest residents.
Already in use in 590 Arkansas schools, HealthTeacher is expanding to cover an additional 500+ in Arkansas, making the online health education resources available to nearly 1,100 public schools in the state. Arkansas is the first state in the country to make HealthTeacher resources available statewide.
A study of HealthTeacher’s impact on Arkansas students shows statistically significant gains in student's health knowledge, attitudes and behaviors, particularly in the areas of nutrition, physical activity and social/emotional well-being. A recent survey of Arkansas teachers reports that 1/3 of Arkansas students have discussed HealthTeacher's health lessons taught in the classroom at home with their families.
In 2009, Arkansas Children’s Hospital began sponsoring HealthTeacher in Arkansas. In 2011, Arkansas Children’s Hospital expanded HealthTeacher to schools in northwest Arkansas through a co-sponsorship with Mercy, and last year Arkansas Children’s Hospital extended the reach of HealthTeacher to Texarkana, Arkansas through a co-sponsorship with CHRISTUS St. Michael's. To date, over 4,000 Arkansas teachers have been trained to use HealthTeacher.
With the new school year, Arkansas Children’s Hospital is expanding HealthTeacher to an additional 128 school districts and 505 schools, primarily in the eastern part of the Arkansas, including the communities of Jonesboro, Batesville, Forrest City, Pine Bluff, and Monticello, among many others.
"Arkansas Children's Hospital is committed to improving the lives of our state's residents by teaching health literacy to kids and empowering them to take the practice of good health home to their families," said Scott Gordon, executive vice president at Arkansas Children's Hospital. "We are honored to make HealthTeacher accessible to all K-12 students throughout the entire state of Arkansas."
Aligned to the Common Core standards, HealthTeacher makes it easy for teachers to integrate health lessons into core subjects to achieve the goals for language arts and math.
“HealthTeacher is excited to be expanding our work with Arkansas Children’s Hospital to positively impact the health and well-being of more Arkansas kids,” said Scott McQuigg, CEO of HealthTeacher, Inc. “We look forward to continuing our work with Arkansas teachers as they use HealthTeacher to address important physical, social and emotional health issues while also integrating health into math and language arts.”
Page 2 of 2 - Representatives of Arkansas Children’s Hospital and HealthTeacher will be hosting a number of informational meetings for school administrators and teachers across the state in the coming weeks. School districts are encouraged to attend these meetings, or they can learn more about HealthTeacher by visitinghttp://www.HealthTeacher.com or contacting Arkansas Children’s Hospital at 501-364-1574.