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SPRINGFIELD – More than 200 secondary education teachers from Springfield Public Schools will meet at Kickapoo High School at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 9 to train on new health curriculum provided by Mercy.
Mercy is providing schools in the four-state region it serves with HealthTeacher, a health literacy program that includes grade-appropriate on-line curriculum and classroom resources.
Dr. Kelvin Pamperien, Executive Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for Springfield Public Schools, is impressed by the resource financially provided entirely by Mercy. The health system is committing $5 million over five years for health education in schools in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
“Our Board of Education is committed to health education for our students, and the opportunity to access that resource at no cost to the district is great,” Pamperien said.
HealthTeacher provides educators with the resource to access a variety of articles pertaining to a wide range of issues that students might face.
Alyssa Timm, a second grade teacher at Eugene Field Elementary, is excited to begin utilizing the benefits of HealthTeacher in her classroom. “While we focus on improving our math and science or some of our reading and writing, we also need to focus on some of the hidden curriculum of attending school. We have issues with depression, bullying, body images, and things like that. This gives us a tool to use in our classrooms. The earlier you start it, the better,” Timm stated.
This gift from Mercy Health System is currently being provided to over 1,600 schools reaching over 711,000 students across the four states. Mercy identified the on-line health education program after hosting community roundtable sessions in each of the communities Mercy serves. During those roundtables, civic and business leaders echoed the growing need to educate our children about health. “We appreciate the partnership with Mercy Health,” said Pamperien.
HealthTeacher.com is a health curriculum for K-12 teachers and health educators alike. It delineates knowledge and skill expectations that are consistent with the Assessment Framework and National Health Education Standards for each grade level, and it addresses the top six health risk behaviors identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HealthTeacher provides K-12 lesson plans on the following topics: alcohol and other drugs, anatomy, community and environmental health, family health and sexuality, injury prevention, mental and emotional health, nutrition, personal and consumer health, physical activity, and tobacco.