Teen High Schools’ Health Initiative
The Newark Board of Education Office of Federal Programs and Grants is excited to announce the success of the first annual Teen High Schools’ Health Initiative. The initiative was conducted in five high schools, under the auspices of the CDC Division of Adolescent School Health (DASH) Grant and in collaboration with Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey. It requires students to conduct health campaigns to encourage their peers to be proactive in advocating for their own health.
In this first, as well as future campaigns, the strategy is to have students highlight common health concerns for teens and present associated information, such as related statistics, methods of transmission, and symptoms. Published campaign materials must provide lists of local health services where teens can access information on prevention, testing, diagnosis, treatment, and support. The campaign designs must contain youth centric language/formatting and be shared through popular teen platforms such as social media, school, and district websites.
A major aspect of this initiative is that the campaigns, from conception to publication, be student-led with minimal, to no, teacher/adult input. The students plan, design, and publish the campaigns. This approach embraces the idea that teens relate better to teens than adults.
The goals of the Teen High Schools’ Health Initiative campaigns are for teens to have:
- Increased awareness of health threats
- Reduced transmission of health threats
- Access to reliable information and resources
- Diminished feelings of fear and isolation due to health status
- Access to local, free, or affordable care