Empower Students to Take Charge of Their Health

October is Health Literacy Month

Students need to know where to go for information and how to make healthy decisions, set goals and advocate for themselves! The goal of health education is to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to lead healthy lifestyles. A skills-based approach is a best practice for delivering high-quality health education and for promoting health literacy which supports 50 Million Strong, SHAPE America's commitment to empowering all children to lead healthy and active lives through effective health and physical education programs.

 What is a Skills-based Approach?

A skills-based approach is a planned, sequential, comprehensive and relevant curriculum that aims to help students develop the skills, attitudes and functional knowledge needed to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Students learn skills such as:

  • Goal setting;
  • Accessing valid and reliable information, products and services affecting one's health; and
  • Analyzing the many influences on health behaviors.

New Skills-based Activities
SHAPE America has developed new skills-based activities that are classroom ready, designed to be used with any health topic and align with the National Health Education Standards (NHES). 

Download  free activities during Health Literacy Month!


Members! Access the full set of activities from preK-12 in the Teachers' Toolbox.

Align Students' Health and Learning: Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model

The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model is a collaborative, holistic approach to strengthening learning and health in our nation's schools. The model — developed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ASCD, formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development — establishes a safe, protective and challenging environment for students to thrive in. 

SHAPE America recommends that health and physical educators (HPE) take the lead in promoting school-wide wellness and support schools' use of the WSCC model as a framework to ensure students are healthy and successful academically! 

wsccmodel_400
Courtesy of ASCD and CDC
Click image for larger view
Health education, physical education & physical activity are components of this model!

New! Download our position statement in support of the WSCC model!

SHAPE America's new position statement shares how HPE teachers can support the WSCC model through best practices in delivering high-quality health education and physical education & physical activity. 

Health Education
  • Implement a skills-based approach to delivering health education;
  • Link the six risk behaviors that the CDC identified as important tenets of instruction; and
  • Align the school curriculum with the NHES.
Physical Education & Physical Activity
  • Establish a positive learning environment in the gym and classroom;
  • Promote options for promoting physical activity; and
  • Adopt the comprehensive school physical activity program to provide students with opportunities for daily physical activity.

How do all the components of the WSCC model fit together? Go inside a Virtual Healthy School (VHS). This online, interactive school building allows educators to see how the components are integrated in various school settings. SHAPE America staff facilitated the development of the VHS as a reviewer.

Skills-based Professional Development Opportunities


Discover Ideas to Implement a Skills-based Approach


Kids_confident_160HArchived webinar: "Confident Me: A Free Middle School Self-Esteem Program." The program uses skills-based health education and focuses on challenging unrealistic socio-cultural ideals of appearance, reducing appearance comparison, media literacy and more.

Attend SHAPE America's health education workshop, "Primer for Teaching a Skills-based Approach in Health Education." Learn the fundamentals of a skills-based approach. The workshop focuses on developing student proficiency in the skills of the NHES. 

HealthEd_160wUse The Essentials of Teaching Health Education: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment to learn practical approaches for building, teaching and assessing a health education program that will help your students become health-literate individuals.

Then, evaluate your program and instruction. Download the Appropriate Practices in School-Based Health Education guidance document.