NEWTON, MA | August 27, 2008
With teenage obesity a continuing concern across America, a new curriculum specially created for middle schools is being introduced nationally to promote healthy choices among pre-teens. The curriculum, Getting Active and Eating Well, was developed by health and literacy experts at Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), with funding from MetLife Foundation.
Divided into four units, the curriculum combines reading and health to equip middle school students with information about making healthy food choices and being physically active. The units include: physical activity, foods of the world, influences on food choices, and setting and reaching goals related to nutrition and physical activity. Each curriculum unit includes a key message related to nutrition or physical activity, as well as a reading or writing task.
“With this program, young people not only learn about food, nutrition, and physical activity, but also develop and practice critical literacy skills, still a much-needed focus in the middle grades,” said EDC’s Leslie Hergert.
The curriculum is designed to be used by health education, physical education, and family and consumer sciences classes. Three units also meet the curriculum standards in other subject areas including social studies and science, with opportunities for interdisciplinary instruction.
“The curriculum is flexible,” said EDC’s Chris Blaber. “A physical education teacher might use ‘Moving for Health’ while a social studies teacher uses ‘Healthy Eating Around the World,’ and a reading teacher uses ‘Influences on Food Choices,’” she said.
“Middle school is a time when young people reach a crossroads,” said Sibyl Jacobson, president of MetLife Foundation. “The new curriculum helps motivate students to make informed decisions for healthy lives.”