Highmark Healthy High 5 Funds Expansion of LearntobeHealthy.org

The Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center announced today it has been awarded a grant from Highmark Healthy High 5, an initiative of the Highmark Foundation. The Byrnes HEC will use the funds to expand its successful e-learning website, LearntobeHealthy.org, by adding new online content for students in grades K-12. The two-year grant was awarded to reach out to students in Pennsylvania on a number of levels. During 2008, LearntobeHealthy.org will launch an extensive website for community organizations and after-school programs.  In addition, the funding will enable Byrnes HEC’s staff of educators to conduct interactive classes at the Center and in school classrooms across the region. 

Highmark Healthy High 5 is a five-year, $100 million initiative to promote lifelong healthy behaviors in children and adolescents. Janice Seigle, Strategic Corporate Initiatives Director for Highmark Healthy High 5, said her group awarded the two-year grant to fuel the program’s expansion. 

”During its first year, The Byrnes Health Education Center demonstrated results, both in developing a state-of-the-art resource and in reaching key audiences,” Seigle said. “We’re pleased to be able to provide funding that will greatly broaden the scope and influence of LearntobeHealthy.org.” Since its launch in early 2006, LearntobeHealthy.org has added nearly 60,000 members and has begun an aggressive campaign to reach teachers and parents in Pennsylvania.

LearntobeHealthy.org currently offers interactive games and web-based activities that engage students in K-12. The site has become popular among teachers because it offers free lesson plans and bases all activities on state and national education standards.  LearntobeHealthy.org also supports one of Highmark Healthy High 5’s critical goals: reversing the disturbing trends in children’s health. Nearly 40 percent of Pennsylvania's school-aged children are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight, according one state health department study. And, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 36 percent of children get no exercise.

Development of new learning modules aimed at grades K through 12 is currently under way. According to Jennifer Eiben, e-Learning Project Manager at the Byrnes HEC, the new modules, or e-learning kits, will focus on mental health including self-esteem, bullying, and stress management.
The site has set an overall goal of reaching 110,000 members during 2008. At that level, learntobehealthy.org could teach and influence as many as 1.5 million children this year.

LearntobeHealthy.org currently offers three distinct sites — for parents and teachers, kids in grades K-6, and teens in grades 7-12. These sites offer free interactive games and activities for students, and include complete, standards-based lesson plans for teachers.

Teachers, parents and students are encouraged to visit learntobehealthy.org and register for free use of all content.


Source: Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center

Location: York, PA

Author: Beeler Communications


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