The Project Healthy Schools (PHS) team kicked off a new online event on February 23, 2021. This event was called “Community Conversations”. The host for the event was Ryann Eff, Associate Director of Development for the UM Frankel Cardiovascular Center, and featured guests were Dr. Kim Eagle, founder of Project Healthy Schools; Jean DuRussel-Weston, PHS Manager; and Ben Ransier, PHS Curriculum and Training Coordinator. The goal of the event was to increase our community’s awareness of the impact, priorities, and vision of PHS in order to generate interest in sustaining our work within these communities in the future. More than 70 people participated online, offering a rich array of representation from across Michigan and the nation.
Project Healthy Schools began in 2004 with a gift for one Ann Arbor Middle School and has grown to over 140 schools in 17 years. Interesting facts that were shared included:
- Since 2004, PHS has reached 141 schools and 47 Michigan counties.
- We are currently in 106 current schools for a retention rate of 75% (includes Arizona and 3 Bangladesh schools).
- Over 88,500 sixth-grade students have been reached to date.
- Schools continue to be supported by PHS year after year.
- Over 25,700 students have participated in our research.
A lively discussion during the hour-long event also included the sharing of PHS goals and its vision for the future. We are victors of COVID-19 and were able to not only provide uninterrupted service during the pandemic, but actually expanded our program offerings through online lessons and a family resource page. Our goals are to build on what we have learned this school year and to make sure that our program is even more diverse in offerings and more inclusive for all. We will also, in addition to our usual wellness lessons, continue educating students about infectious diseases and their role as citizens in their community.
We are planning to have another Community Conversations event in Fall 2021. Stay tuned for dates and times!