Online Program

Classroom to community: Empowering teachers to address health as a barrier to educational achievement

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ariela M. Freedman, PhD, MPH, MAT, Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Audra Williams, MD, MPH, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Amy Bryson, Health Behavior Department, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Brianna Keefe-Oates, MPH, Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Decatur
Kristin Unzicker, MPH, CHES, Office of Leadership and Community Engaged Learning, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Jennifer Drucker, First grade, George A. Towns Elementary School, Atlanta, GA
Sahar S. Salek, MPH, CHES, Emory Public Health Training Center, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Education and health are inextricably linked. Common health problems such as asthma, teen pregnancy, poor mental health, vision and hearing challenges, and poor nutrition, impact a child's educational success. Students who struggle with these health issues are less able to pay attention during class and more likely to be absent. As a result, these students are more likely to struggle academically and ultimately drop out of school. Despite the connection between health and education, teachers are rarely trained to address health issues seen in their classrooms. Even when teachers are able to recognize a health issue, they are often unaware of available community health resources, let alone able provide information or any type of treatment. In a time of deep budget cuts and higher demands on teachers, it is important to equip them with the information and skills needed to address health as a key predictor of success in education. Classroom to Community was created in partnership with Teach For America and Emory University to provide hands-on health education opportunities in schools for graduate students in health fields. In its second year, a parallel track was developed to provide educators with training on recognizing health issues in schools, referring students to resources, integrating health skills into existing curricula, and developing School-Based Health Centers. This presentation will describe components of the teacher track of Classroom to Community, including evaluation results and key lessons learned. In order to be reduce health disparities and increase educational achievement, health and education must work together.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Describe methods to provide teachers with training on recognizing and addressing health issues in the classroom. Discuss the importance of creating a network of students and professionals to work at the intersection of health and education. Describe ways that universities and schools can bring health and education together by developing specific programs that address the needs of both fields.

Keyword(s): School Health, Underserved Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, an MPH, and an MAT. I am also a Teach For America alumna. I created and teach this course in collaboration with the co-authors listed on this abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.