Pittsburgh, PA, Aug. 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — HealthCorps, a national nonprofit committed to eliminating health inequity in at-risk communities by educating and empowering students to improve their physical and mental health, is pleased to announce that its first-ever Pittsburgh-based school partner is Propel Schools.
Beginning this school year, HealthCorps brings its student-focused health and wellness program to three Propel Schools‒Northside, Hazelwood and Homestead.
Nationally, HealthCorps maintains a network of schools called Living Labs. Through this program, a full-time “coordinator” works in high-needs schools to mentor students, lead health-related workshops and promote a variety of in-school and afterschool activities. Coordinators are recent college graduates who go on to careers in medicine, public health policy or wellness practices. Coordinators and their students participate in ongoing programs to continually improve the HealthCorps curriculum and provide insight into how to improve young lives.
Propel scholars will also participate in HealthCorps’ Teen Make Health Happen program, where the HealthCorps Coordinator, a near-peer mentor, will introduce them to leadership opportunities as they facilitate monthly health-promoting activities on campus and encourage service learning through a scholar-led health innovation project.
“Bringing HealthCorps to Propel scholars strengthens our already robust commitment to their overall health and wellness,” said Propel School Sr. Director of Community Affairs Danielle Parson. “Our school teams are excited about this partnership because it not only provides scholars with lifelong wellness habits, the program also encourages them to be involved in community-based activities.”
“We could not be more pleased with our Propel partnership and are eager for the program to begin,” said Amy Braun, CEO of HealthCorps. Propel’s leadership and staff have a solid commitment to providing health and wellness initiatives to their scholars. HealthCorps will build on this foundation and provide additional tools allowing scholars to take control of their health and become health advocates for their community. Education does not begin and end in the classroom. At HealthCorps the knowledge we share has a positive impact on the entire community.”
As evidence of HealthCorps’ commitment to the Propel school community, HealthCorps will deliver COVID-19 health kits to Propel families through its #SaveTheStudents campaign, an initiative the organization launched during the early waves of the pandemic. Distribution of 400 kits began August 18 when Propel welcomed scholars back to school. Kits include a Kinsa smart thermometer; two masks; HealthCorps Program Resources; and access to a school-wide program to monitor symptoms and protect from an outbreak.
“HealthCorps has already demonstrated what an extremely valuable partner they are for our scholars and staff,” said Mrs. Parson. “The health kits will provide much-needed resources for our scholars and families as they continue to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms. We think of this as another layer of safety for our Propel Schools families.”
“Providing health and wellness programming to students, as well as these critical protective tools is the perfect example of HealthCorps’ commitment to students,” said Philadelphia-based Lindy Snider, a member of HealthCorps Board of Directors. “I look forward to the program’s expansion across the commonwealth.”
Since its founding in 2003, HealthCorps (www.healthcorps.org), a national 501c3, has addressed health inequities in at-risk communities by educating and empowering teens – encouraging them to become change agents within their family, their school and their neighborhood.
Believing that limited access to health education can lead to a lifetime of social, emotional, and physical challenges. HealthCorps strives to strengthen teens with innovative approaches to health and wellness, providing today’s youth with the tools to become more physically and mentally resilient through educational programming, leadership experience and service learning.
HealthCorps’ programming is operating in schools and organizations in AZ, CA, TX, OK, and NY and will expand to PA and FL in the upcoming school year.
Teens Make Health Happen is HealthCorps’ latest program designed to create youth change makers and healthier communities in the process. HealthCorps is supported nationally by funders such as USANA Health Sciences, who share the organization’s commitment to teen health and wellness. You can find health tips for teens from HealthCorps on the @teenhealthvibe Instagram channel.
About Propel Charter Schools
Propel Schools is a network of public charter schools where our educators redefine school so that our scholars can defy expectations. Propel sets a standard for innovative, scholar-centered learning that creates productive citizens by prioritizing academic excellence and fundamental life skills. Based in Pittsburgh, Propel has become the largest charter school network in Western Pennsylvania since it was established in 2003. Today, Propel serves 4,000 scholars at 13 Allegheny County locations. Visit propelschools.org to learn more.