Berea College Partners with HealthCorps to Promote Health & Wellness in Schools
In addition to educating students from Appalachia, Berea College also focuses on bringing together school districts and an array of outside educational organizations to improve student lives. As part of its mission to directly serve the region, Berea College has partnered with HealthCorps, a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating the childhood obesity crisis, to help bring health and wellness education to the Appalachian region.
“A healthy lifestyle is critical to academic success,” explained Partners for Education at Berea College Executive Director, Dreama Gentry. “And we are excited to partner with HealthCorps to provide students in our region the tools, resources and experiences to support a healthy lifestyle.”
For over a decade, HealthCorps has worked with and in schools to implement an innovative curriculum that inspires teens to make healthier choices for themselves and their families. Composed of three sections — Mental Resilience, Nutrition and Fitness — the HealthCorps curriculum is taught in two manners: through the Living Labs program, where HealthCorps Coordinators work in classrooms, the lunchroom and run after-school clubs; and through HealthCorps University (HCU), a train the trainer professional development program that makes the HealthCorps principles and curriculum available to virtually any school.
On March 19-20, HealthCorps training staff — in collaboration with Partners for Education at Berea College — presented HCU to 32 individuals from four high schools and one preK-12 school across Jackson, Knox, Leslie, and Madison Counties. The 2-day training brought together a wide-array of educators, from science and PE teachers to support personnel and resource center coordinators, and focused on optimizing their ability to have an impact on student success, physically and academically. Utilizing the HealthCorps curriculum and infusing it with their own curriculum, trainees walked away confident, excited, and with action plans to take back to their schools.