Passport to Health Program Works with Local Elementary Schools to Instill Healthy Behaviors
For several years, Crozer-Keystone Health System has partnered with AstraZeneca and TD Bank to implement Passport to Health, a health awareness and education program geared toward Delaware County children at an age when decision-making for a healthy lifestyles begins.
Passport to Health provides teachers in the schools with educational materials that they can use to supplement their existing curriculum. The monthly lessons help to teach kids how to practice healthy habits such as eating healthy food, exercising and hand washing.
This year, the program will reach more than 6,000 third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students in 20 public and parochial schools in four Delaware County school districts.
Debbie Simon, director of Healthline Services at Delaware County Memorial Hospital, coordinates the program and arranges a different topic each month. The program teaches children to “be a better me,” with lessons in tobacco education, sun protection, exercise, dental health and better eating habits, along with a focus on prevention of heart disease and cancer. The educational material is taught through fact sheets and games, such as word finds and fill-in-the-blanks, in order to make learning easy and enjoyable. The children then get quizzed and receive prizes if they do well. At the end of the year, the students take a test to see what they have learned, followed by a pizza party.
Marie Destefano, administrative director of Oncology for Crozer-Keystone Health System and one of the original organizers of the program, says that Passport to Health advances Crozer-Keystone’s commitment to the community to provide good health and education for the future.
“Helping children become aware of and appreciative of their body is the first step in encouraging them to take care of their body throughout their lives. The Passport to Health Program ensures that children have a strong foundation for a healthy lifetime,” DeStefano says.
For more information about the Passport to Health program, call Debbie Simon, Healthline Services at DCMH, at (610) 284-8158