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ERIC Number: EJ917552
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0271-6062
Take the Wheel on the Road to Health Literacy
Deal, Tami Benham; Deal, Laurence O.; Hudson, Nancy
Principal, v89 n3 p20-25 Jan-Feb 2010
Schools are often viewed as the primary change agent for any new health crisis that gains national or local attention. Schools should play a role in creating a healthy learning environment because many of these health problems can impact student learning. But is it reasonable to hold schools and school leaders responsible for fixing the health problems that people see in youths today--problems that stem from violence, drug use, and teenage pregnancy--and now the growing epidemic of childhood obesity and pandemic flu? For the school principal, who must overcome the challenges posed by increasing demand for accountability and decreasing budgets to support these efforts, the burden of making and keeping children healthy can seem too heavy to bear. School principals are the key to improving students' health literacy. The first step is to create a school culture where health and health education is a priority. This does not have to mean that stand-alone health courses or curricula are delivered or that health specialists are hired. Simple coordination and expectation could do the trick. Principals have the power to transform education by emphasizing 21st century skill development as the end in mind, and using interdisciplinary themes like health literacy to achieve this goal. Principals also have the capacity to coordinate efforts across content disciplines to help prepare students for the challenges they will face in the 21st century. This article provides specific ways principals can take the wheel. (Contains 2 online resources.)
National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). 1615 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 800-386-2377; Tel: 703-684-3345; Fax: 800-396-2377; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A