152107 Role of coordinated school health programs in reducing health and educational disparities

Wednesday, November 7, 2007: 8:50 AM

Diane Edith Allensworth, PhD , National Center for Health Marketing, CDC, Division of Public and Private Partners, Atlanta, GA
In the United States, both health and education disparities are associated with low socioeconomic status and race. Standardized tests in reading and mathematics reveal that at each grade level, black and Hispanic students perform significantly lower than whites. Approximately 25% of all students fail to graduate on time. For African Americans and Hispanics, the graduation rate could be as low as 50 percent. Children and youth from low-income households are at increased risk for mental health problems. Education disparities result in reduced literacy rates as well as reduced graduation rates which are related to root causes of health disparities. Leading educational organizations have identified what needs to be done to increase school success for the most vulnerable of students: psychological and physical safe schools (Healthy School Environment); opportunities for personal and social skill building (Health Education); caring adults (Healthy School Environment); collaboration among parents, families and school staff (Involvement of Families and Communities); physical, mental and emotional health needs met; (Health; Psychological: Nutrition and Food Services); and challenging core instruction with high standards and expectations. All but the last of these strategies are a part of a coordinated school health program. Strategies that schools may use for closing the academic achievement gap (and thus reducing the health disparity gap) will be provided.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe health and educational disparities experienced by minority and poor students 2. Identify the causes of health and educational disparites 3. Identify specific actions that schools can take to reduce educational disparites, thus ultimatley reducing health disparities

Keywords: School Health, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.