Health Literacy - Important 21st Century Skill
- Obtaining, interpreting and understanding basic health information and services and using such information and services in ways that are health enhancing
- Understanding preventive physical and mental health measures, including proper diet, nutrition, exercise, risk avoidance and stress reduction
- Using available information to make appropriate health-related decisions
- Establishing and monitoring personal and family health goals
- Understanding national and international public health and safety issues
The goal of CCSSO"s HEAP initiative is to develop effective health education assessment resources through a collaborative process, and to increase members' capacity to align curriculum, instruction, and assessment to improve student health literacy through improved health education instruction. The project has developed a variety of assessment materials that are appropriate for use by teachers at the classroom level, and for use in district and large-scale assessments of health education. In addition, the project has developed a variety of professional development materials to support teacher training in standards-based health education and assessment.
These standards for Virginia public schools delineate the concepts, processes, and skills for health education in kindergarten through grade 10 for Virginia's public schools. This framework provides school divisions and teachers with a guide for creating curricula and learning experiences in health education. The intent of health education is to help students understand how to achieve and maintain good health for a lifetime. The three learning goals focus on key health concepts and skills needed to facilitate the formation of healthy behaviors and practices.
The purpose of the Physical Education, Health and Wellness Department of the Newton Public Schools is to enhance the well being of the school community by creating a culture that integrates and balances the six dimensions of wellness: social/environmental, physical, intellectual, career/occupational, emotional and spiritual. The department strives to encourage an active, healthy lifestyle, positive choices and student centeredness, which will provide each student with a diverse education in a safe supportive environment. It is the hope that this mission will help to promote self-responsibility, motivation and excellence in learning as well as life-long commitment to wellness.
This curriculum places a strong emphasis on skill development in the areas of acquiring health knowledge, accessing health resources, practicing healthy behaviors, analyzing the influence of media and other cultural influences on health decisions, developing communication skills, setting goals and making health-related decisions, and advocating for personal, family, and community health.
The Office of Health Education (OHE) provides harm reduction and public health promotion services to the campus which include data collection and analysis, educational workshops, health awareness events and campaigns, academic courses, trainings and consultations.
Reprinted with the permission of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. © 2004 Partnership for 21st Century Skills.
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