What the Health!

A Literacy and Health Resource for Youth

updated May 13, 2010

What the HEALTH! was designed by the Canadian Public Health Association’s National Literacy and Health Program for people who teach or guide youth in a variety of settings: literacy programs, schools, community centers and health care centers. Development of the What the HEALTH! curriculum was guided by young people at all stages and provides useful and easy-to-use tools to engage teens in learning about their own health, understanding healthy behaviors and improving health decision-making skills. Youth are able to reflect on their own experiences, as well as linking their experiences to a wider social context and identifying follow-up actions for themselves and their communities. While the intended use of the curricula is to enhance health awareness and literacy skills of youth who have trouble reading, What the HEALTH!applies to all young people and gives them a participatory opportunity to learn more about health.

What the HEALTH! is 210 pages, and is divided into 10 lessons, each of which focuses on a health topic defined as important by youth. Examples of health topics are: Feelings, Safer Sex, Drug Abuse, Living Environments and Healthy Eating.  Lessons are broken down into 6 elements, each of which is an action: Highlight, Explain, Analyze, Learn, Try and Help. The cover page of each lesson gives a brief introduction to the topic, with the next page offering learning objectives, relevant web sites and other resources. The entire curriculum is in loose leaf format, so that pages can be easily photocopied and users can order lessons as they feel appropriate.

To view a sample lesson [in PDF Format] on smoking from What the HEALTH!, click here. © Canadian Public Health Association, 2000.

What the HEALTH! is available in English and French and can be purchased from the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) Health Resources Centre for about $10.  For more information, or to order What the HEALTH!, contact CPHA: Tel: (613) 725-3769, Fax: (613) 725-9826 or email: hrc@cpha.ca More information is also available at www.cpha.ca

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