Sunday, September 23, 2018
Education

More Health celebrates 25 years of healthy lessons for kids

Janai Carnegie, 10, had the chance to not only learn about the function of a lung – she got to be one.

Donning a vest with Velcro stickers with the chemical formulas for oxygen and carbon dioxide, Janai recently joined several of her Florida College Academy classmates in acting out how blood travels through the body using a floor-sized heart.

"It was really cool," she said. "I learned how the heart is beating."

Hands-on learning is just one of the activities Academy students engaged in as part of the celebration of More Health's "Are You Heart Smart?" Day at Tampa General Hospital on Feb. 7.

The event marked the 25th anniversary of the founding partnership between the hospital and More Health, a nonprofit organization that provides health education lessons to school districts in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties.

The milestone is part of a larger observance of the Junior League of Tampa's 90th anniversary, said president Nicole Hubbard.

"It's not that it's just around – it's thriving," she said. "That's what makes it so special for us."

Tampa General is "excited" to continue its relationship with More Health, said Ellen Fiss, a hospital spokeswoman.

"It's probably one of the best programs … in terms of enrichment of students," she said. "They do an outstanding job."

What began in 1989 as a Junior League of Tampa community service project with just two lessons about heart health has blossomed into a 25-lesson program on a range of issues such as gun safety, teen pregnancy, and personal hygiene that has reached more than three million students, said Nancy Crane, More Health's founder.

"That's the vision I didn't have," she said. "I had a vision that we would have healthier children teaching them one class at a time."

Every day, a dozen of the nonprofit's instructors visit classrooms to teach K-12 students how to make healthy eating choices, bike safety, or basic first aid skills.

It's estimated that 11,000 presentations were taught to 234,000 students last year, said Karen Buckenheimer, More Health's executive director.

That knowledge doesn't just stay in the classroom.

"We encourage them to go home and share all of that information with their families," she said.

The lessons are helpful for teachers, too, because each meets 20 to 30 of the state's education standards, she said.

The lessons are popular with students, too.

For Ethan Murphy, 9, learning about the circulatory system and watching his classmates role-play was fun.

But there was one thing that topped it: listening to his own heartbeat.

"That was my favorite part," he said.

Contact Kenya Woodard at [email protected]

Comments
How do you explain active shooters to a first-grader? For educators, school safety is a ‘work in progress.’

How do you explain active shooters to a first-grader? For educators, school safety is a ‘work in progress.’

Active assailant. Run-hide-fight. Barricade the classroom. The language of preventing a shooting like the one this year at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is often filled with terms that can stir up fear in students, often out of necessity.But f...
Published: 09/22/18

Two acclaimed authors to speak about water at USF St. Petersburg

Pulitzer Prize winner and University of Florida professor Jack Davis thinks people need to humble themselves more toward water."The water doesn’t belong to us, we belong to the water," he said. "Without water, humanity would not exist, life would not...
Published: 09/21/18
Updated: 09/22/18
Hillsborough school district releases referendum wish list

Hillsborough school district releases referendum wish list

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District on Friday released a long-awaited, school-by-school list of 1,785 projects to be funded by a proposed half-cent sales tax hike.The list, now on the district website, includes playgrounds for Anderson El...
Published: 09/21/18
Pinellas education news: college fairs, lectures and more

Pinellas education news: college fairs, lectures and more

Students, parents invited to three upcoming college and career fairsThree events are scheduled over the next two weeks that are designed to help students plan their next steps after leaving the Pinellas County school system. The University of South F...
Published: 09/21/18
Football player, band member, advanced student, girl: Pasco eighth-grader does it all well

Football player, band member, advanced student, girl: Pasco eighth-grader does it all well

TRINITY — Julie Michael stood in the metal bleachers, flute poised at her lips, ready to play the national anthem with the Seven Springs Middle School advanced band.As the band segued into the school fight song, the eighth-grader continued per...
Updated: 4 minutes ago
Romano: We need education solutions not slogans from DeSantis, Gillum

Romano: We need education solutions not slogans from DeSantis, Gillum

And 200,000 third-graders just rolled their eyes.I swear, even they can see through the education proposals offered by gubernatorial candidates Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum this week.Let’s see, the Republican wants more privatization. And the Democ...
Published: 09/20/18

Local rapper encourages elementary students to attend school every day(w/video)

Local rapper Corey Thornton performs original songs on Wednesday Sept. 18, 2019 about the importance of school attendance at Walsingham Elementary School during a school wide assembly. During Attendance Awareness Month, Pinellas County Schools and th...
Published: 09/19/18
Updated: 09/20/18
USF faces a reality as it prepares to consolidate: This is going to be hard.

USF faces a reality as it prepares to consolidate: This is going to be hard.

TAMPA — All summer, while most students were gone, the University of South Florida has been toiling away on a blueprint for the complex merger of the USF System.Its three universities in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota will soon consolidate into o...
Published: 09/19/18
Employee pay dominates Pasco schools budget debate

Employee pay dominates Pasco schools budget debate

LAND O' LAKES — The Pasco County School Board unanimously adopted a $1.26 billion budget Tuesday with a slightly lowered tax rate and funding for new school construction in both east and west Pasco.But the spending item that grabbed most of th...
Published: 09/19/18
Ernest Hooper: HCC helps light the way for those on life's winding paths

Ernest Hooper: HCC helps light the way for those on life's winding paths

After he graduated from a Maryland high school, Rickey Murray had a number of opportunities awaiting him at a number of four-year institutions.He eyed the University of South Florida, applied to Florida International University and considered Virgini...
Published: 09/18/18