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Check out what our people and partners are researching, thinking, reading, writing, watching and doing!

(Note: Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETR as an agency.)

Need to Know
February 13, 2018

Need to Know

By John Henry Ledwith | February 13, 2018
National Sales Manager, ETR

The great state of Texas. Known for its sports teams, exciting weather, roots-based eclectic music and grand landscapes. After my visit to northern Texas a couple of weeks ago, I’m going to add to that list: outstanding health education teachers.

I was working with health education master Susan Telljohann, PhD, as she delivered a training on the 15 Characteristics of Effective Health Education.

By John Henry Ledwith
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Tags: Health education, School health education, K-12, HealthSmart, 15 Characteristics of Effective Health Education
Building Health Skills: Decision Making
January 9, 2018

Building Health Skills: Decision Making

By Suzanne Schrag | January 9, 2018
Editor/Product Manager, ETR

Skills are a vital part of effective health education. And, in addition to acquiring knowledge, a focus on practicing skills is becoming more and more accepted as the best way to help young people establish healthy behaviors. This, in turn, helps them reduce their health risks. 

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Tags: Decision making, K-12, HealthSmart, School health education, Health education
Teaching Knowledge and Skills the HealthSmart Way – Part 3
November 14, 2017

Teaching Knowledge and Skills the HealthSmart Way – Part 3

By Suzanne Schrag | November 14, 2017
Editor/Product Manager, ETR

How do we give students the concepts and skills they need to choose healthy behaviors for a lifetime? From the 15 Characteristics of Effective Health Education Curricula identified by the CDC, we know that an effective program “provides functional health knowledge that directly contributes to health-promoting decisions and behaviors.” It also “builds competence and self-efficacy by addressing skills.” Let’s see some examples of how these two key components of a great health education program play out in Grade 2 of HealthSmart.

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Tags: School health, School health education, K-5, K-12, HealthSmart
HealthSmart: Putting Health Ed Research into Action - Part 2
November 7, 2017

HealthSmart: Putting Health Ed Research into Action - Part 2

By Suzanne Schrag | November 7, 2017
Editor/Product Manager, ETR

It’s not enough to simply teach students information about health. As health educators, we must help them master key concepts and skills that promote health literacy and lifelong health. HealthSmart, ETR’s comprehensive K12 health education program, targets Healthy Behavior Outcomes as its primary goal. This sets HealthSmart apart from a more traditional textbook health program.

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Tags: School health, School health education, 15 Characteristics of Effective Health Education, Health education, K12, HealthSmart
Understanding the HealthSmart Approach to Health Education - Part 1
October 30, 2017

Understanding the HealthSmart Approach to Health Education - Part 1

By Suzanne Schrag | October 30, 2017
Editor/Product Manager, ETR

I’ve been working with HealthSmart, ETR’s comprehensive, K-12 health education program, since its inception. We’ve recently been traveling to different states to introduce schools, districts and DOEs to the HealthSmart program. Often we are presenting HealthSmart alongside more traditional textbook publishers.

HealthSmart is not a textbook program. In fact, it’s quite different from a textbook approach to health class. We’ve given a lot of thought to how we explain what may be a new way to think about health instruction for administrators and educators.

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Tags: School health education, 15 Characteristics of Effective Health Education, K12, HealthSmart
5 Steps for Energizing Your Health Class
August 29, 2017

5 Steps for Energizing Your Health Class

By Andrew Milne | August 29, 2017
Health Education & PE Teacher, New Trier High School

Teaching health is a fantastic opportunity! What a privilege to get to encourage our students to consider their health and that of others.

With increased pressure on academic scheduling it's important that health educators get the most out of their time in the classroom. These 5 steps should have your students running to your class, eager to learn.

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Tags: Innovation, Advocacy, Health education, High school, School health education
Summer's Ending and It's Time for Something New!
August 17, 2017

Summer's Ending and It's Time for Something New!

By John Henry Ledwith | August 17, 2017
Senior Sales Manager, ETR

Ah. The sun of summer is beginning to wane. Many of my conversations with colleagues are now centering around that classic fall event, “Return to the Classroom.” Teachers are resetting desks. They’re getting books in place. They’re reviewing and finalizing lesson plans.

All this to be ready for the first starting bell of the new school year.

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Tags: HealthSmart, School health education, Elementary school, k-5
K-12 Sexual Harassment: A Few More Thoughts
August 11, 2017

K-12 Sexual Harassment: A Few More Thoughts

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | August 11, 2017
Senior Editor, ETR

“I didn’t even know it was sexual harassment.”

These are the words of a female high school student I spoke with recently. She and a male friend were discussing sexual harassment in their school. Girls being called “slut” because they wore a crop top. Hearing the slur “that’s so gay” on a daily basis. Feeling pressure to meet traditional expectations for gender roles. Not knowing how or when to step up and speak up to stop the harassment.

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Life and Death Choices: Be a Part of It
April 19, 2017

Life and Death Choices: Be a Part of It

By John Henry Ledwith April 19, 2017
Senior Sales Manager, ETR

I just got back from the hospital. I’m fine, but one of my long-time friends is not. He’s recovering from a heart attack. This was one of the ones that put a real scare into me.

When a friend has an experience like this, you can’t help think about certain things. Life. Death. Family. The value of good health.

By John Henry Ledwith
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Tags: K-12, Nutrition, Physical activity, Health education, School health education
School Report: 3 Strategies to Help Us Boost Healthy Student Behaviors
March 21, 2017

School Report: 3 Strategies to Help Us Boost Healthy Student Behaviors

By John Henry Ledwith | March 21, 2017
Senior Sales Manager, ETR

Are you rested? Did you have breakfast? How many glasses of water did you drink today?

These three markers of healthy behavior—sleep, nutrition, hydration—are on my mind at the moment. 

By John Henry Ledwith
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Tags: K-12, School Health Education, Sleep, Nutrition
School Report: Let’s Be Advocates!
January 11, 2017

School Report: Let’s Be Advocates!

By John Henry Ledwith | January 11, 2017
Senior Sales Manager, ETR

We’ve had some seriously rainy weather in Northern California this past week. The storm outside was a good incentive for me to do a little clean-up and organizing inside.

As I opened file drawers and cabinet doors, I ploughed through several years’ worth of articles, notes, photos and papers. Some were still keepers. And others—ideas past their prime—went off to recycle.

By John Henry Ledwith
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Tags: K-12, Advocacy, NHES
What’s Your District’s School Health Policy?
November 17, 2016

What’s Your District’s School Health Policy?

By John Henry Ledwith | November 17, 2016
Senior Sales Manager, ETR

I love school health advocates! Earlier this month I got to spend time with a whole bunch of them at the School Health Education and Services Section (SHES) of the APHA annual meetings. As usual, joining up with that crowd was an illuminating and inspiring process.

By John Henry Ledwith
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Tags: School health education, Policy, K-12
Letter from a Salty College Student: Our Editor Responds
October 13, 2016

Letter from a Salty College Student: Our Editor Responds

By ETR | October 13, 2016

We hear regularly from customers about our health education materials. Sometimes they share praise and compliments for a product they’ve found helpful. Sometimes they ask for a new title or resource they need. And sometimes they offer constructive feedback about something that doesn’t quite work in their situation.

We’ve also gotten some really vitriolic criticism from vapers, who tend to dislike our public health messages about e-cigarettes.

By Laura Perkins, MLS
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Tags: New products, Vaping, Tobacco
Comprehensive School Health: A Matter of Life
September 27, 2016

Comprehensive School Health: A Matter of Life

By John Henry Ledwith |  September 27, 2016
Senior Sales Manager, ETR

What’s the true value of a comprehensive school health program? I have a surprisingly simple answer: it’s a matter of life.

This came home to me starkly the other day as I sat with a group of people who had been an integral part of my sons’ childhood and teen years. Here were some of their coaches, many of their friends, the parents of their friends. And my boys, too, now young men in their 20’s.

We had come to honor and remember a friend and former teammate who had taken his own life the previous week. We sat baffled and heartsick as we listened to this young man’s father, reaching out to the people in the room, appealing to us: “Please, do not focus on this one bad decision, this momentary impulse, of my son’s life. Do not let that define who he was and the memories you carry onward. He was so much more than this!”

By John Henry Ledwith
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Tags: School health education, WSCC, K-12, Comprehensive school health, Social emotional health
"But Those Teens Don't Look Like Us": Adapting Video Content for Evidence-Based Programs
August 31, 2016

"But Those Teens Don't Look Like Us": Adapting Video Content for Evidence-Based Programs

By Joan Singson and Suzanne Schrag | August 31, 2016
Program Manager and Editor/Product Manager, ETR

Do you like stories? Most people do, and, like Peter Seller’s character in Being There, “We like to watch.” Many of the evidence-based programs (EBPs) being used across the country, including many that ETR distributes, incorporate DVDs. Videos can be a useful and engaging strategy to hold participants’ attention, encourage fruitful discussions and allow youth to personalize information by relating to the characters’ stories and situations.

One of the most frequent questions we get concerning program adaptations relates to videos—in particular, whether videos can be left out or replaced with other videos. Often the question arises when facilitators do not think the included videos are representative of the youth they serve.

Here are some options to consider (and to discuss with program officers) when thinking about adaptations around videos.

Free Webinar for OAH TPP Grantees and other youth-serving professionals using ETR’s evidence-based programs 

Sign up for our free webinar, ETR Evidence-Based Programs Revisions Booster. This one-hour event will review recent revisions to our EBPs and answer questions. Wednesday, September 21, 10:00–11:00 am Pacific Standard Time. Learn more and register here.

By Joan Singson
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Tags: Evidence-based interventions, Adaptation, Videos
Youth Who Puzzle Us: Recent Work in Neuroscience Explains Why
August 29, 2016

Youth Who Puzzle Us: Recent Work in Neuroscience Explains Why

By Vignetta Charles, PhD | August 29, 2016
Chief Science Officer, ETR

Do you work with adolescents? Have you ever faced situations like these?

Sofia is an excellent student, popular on campus and a delightful member of your peer health educator program. She knows everything about birth control, STI prevention and making smart choices. She loves educating her peers. She and her boyfriend come to see you one afternoon and tell you they are pregnant.

Webinar: Survive or Thrive? Re-Envisioning Adolescent Success

We recently collaborated with the California School Based Health Alliance on a webinar describing and applying the new insights in developmental neuroscience. Our goal is to re-think and re-envision how we educate, raise and care for young people on their path to lifelong health and wellbeing. You can find links to the webinar recording and slides ("Survive or Thrive? Using Neuroscience to Re-Envision Adolescent Success") and information about other upcoming CSBHA webinars here.

By Vignetta Charles, PhD
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Tags: Neurodevelopment, Neuroscience, Teens, Risk reduction
Tale of a Health Education Evangelist
August 11, 2016

Tale of a Health Education Evangelist

By John Henry Ledwith | August 11, 2016
Senior Sales Manager, ETR

Someone asked me the other day, “Why are you such an evangelist for HealthSmart?” Actually, I get this question a lot. HealthSmart is ETR’s premiere health education program, and I talk about it all the time—not just as part of my job, but as part of my life.

If a friend mentions a disturbing new report about school bullying, or brings up the latest statistics about teens and tobacco, I’m likely to say, “You know, HealthSmart has some great lessons on exactly that topic!” If someone tells me their kids are attending a new school, I ask, “Are they using HealthSmart for their health education program?”

Sure. I’m an evangelist. But I’m a health education evangelist. I believe health is one of the most important topics we can bring to our children and youth. It can literally make life-and-death differences for them. And I happen to think that HealthSmart is absolutely the best health education program out there.

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Tags: K-12, School health education, HealthSmart
Looking to the Future: Educational Research and AERA16
May 25, 2016

Looking to the Future: Educational Research and AERA16

By Julie Adams | May 25, 2016
Research Assistant, ETR

The 2016 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting was held in Washington, DC last month. It marked the 100th anniversary of education researchers meeting to talk about current issues in education, research and policy. As a first-time attendee, I was inspired to see so many people gather in one place, all dedicated to improving the future of education.

I’ve been reflecting on the information shared by some of the most notable researchers in the field over the course of those five exciting days. Here are three ideas I believe are essential to keep in mind as I continue my career in research.

By Julie Adams
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Tags: Research, Education research, Diversity in technology, Computer science education
How Teachers Changed My Kids’ Lives
May 12, 2016

How Teachers Changed My Kids’ Lives

By John Henry Ledwith | May 12, 2016
Senior Sales Manager, ETR

It’s springtime! Birds are singing, flowers are blooming, kids are dreaming of summer vacation. And teachers? They’re already planning for next year’s classes and curricula.

Yes, lots of people are looking forward at this moment. But I find I’m actually reflecting back on years past. My wife and I have raised two wonderful sons. Both are about to graduate from college this June. As they finish up their undergraduate education, I’m feeling particularly grateful for the dedication and creativity of the K-12 teachers who reached out, gave them a hand and helped them succeed.

My kids are utterly distinct individuals who learn in wildly different ways. If you ever wanted a real-world example of Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, spend a little time with the Ledwith boys.

By John Henry Ledwith
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Tags: K-12, Teachers, Gratitude, Learning styles
Real-World Health Education: Putting the 15 Characteristics to Work
April 11, 2016

Real-World Health Education: Putting the 15 Characteristics to Work

By Susan Telljohann, HSD, CHES | April 11, 2016
Professor Emeritus, Department of Health Education, The University of Toledo

I want to talk to you about power—the power you have to influence students and support them in choosing healthy behaviors. I also want to tell you about one of the most effective tools you can use to put that power to work in the real world of your classrooms and schools.

This is a concrete, research-proven resource that educators can put to work simply, right now, to build greater success with students. And yes, as you may have guessed from the title of this post, that tool is the 15 Characteristics of An Effective Health Education Curriculum.

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Tags: K-12, School health education, Health education, 15 Characteristics of Effective Health Education