Black Hills State University health educator and reading professor collaborate to create a unique health and reading workshop for teachers.
Sandy Klarenbeek, health educator in the College of Education at Black Hills State University, and Dr. Joanna Jones, reading specialist and assistant professor in the College of Education at BHSU, recently offered a summer workshop titled “Aligning Health and Reading with a HEAP of Books.”
According to Klarenbeek, the workshop was unique because the two disciplines, health and reading, joined together to deliver the training. The participants’ evaluations showed a significant gain in their own health literacy, and in their ability to teach their students health through literature.
Participants from across the state attended the two and a half day workshop held on the BHSU campus. The workshop, supported by the South Dakota Department of Education, Office of Coordinated School Health, was designed for classroom teachers, librarians, and other professionals to help teach reading to students in public schools and make connections between health knowledge and skills their students should achieve in order to become health literate. The workshop also offered suggestions on books that could be integrated into daily lessons.
According to Klarenbeek, participants were able to develop a thorough understanding of the state and national health education standards and were given time to read different selections of children and young adult literature and discuss books in literature circles.
The workshop also offered a tour of the BHSU library, which included accessibility to a website for children's and young adult literature with health themes. Participants also had the opportunity to learn the Health Education Assessment Project (HEAP) searchable assessment database. The database has over 1,900 assessment items for all grade levels which are aligned with the health education standards and content areas.
According to Klarenbeek, the workshop was unique because the two different disciplines, health and reading, joined together to deliver the training. The participants’ evaluations showed a significant gain in their own health literacy, and in their ability to teach their students health through literature.
Jones and Klarenbeek have also been asked to make this presentation at the International Reading Association Regional Reading Conference in October.