D.C., November 15, 2011 –The American Public Health Association’s new Center
for School, Health and Education today launched its website, www.schoolbasedhealthcare.org,
the latest tool to advance the Center’s mission of improving health, well-being
and educational success of all students. The website hosts a growing library of
articles and the latest research on social and health barriers to graduation to
help inform policymakers, educators and the community about the public health
issues that contribute to the national dropout rate.
social factors driving some students to drop out of school such as poverty,
drug use and violence also present barriers to their health, well-being and
safety,” said Alan Baker, interim executive director of APHA. “School dropout
is just as much an education issue as it is a public health concern. Educational
success starts with healthy students, and children and teens who complete high
school are more likely to have a lifetime of better health and economic
one-third of all students in the U.S. do not graduate from high school on time.
For black, Latino and American Indian students, the dropout rate is 50 percent.
Students who do not graduate from high school are at greater risk of
experiencing negative social, economic, political, health and criminal justice
Data show that
students who receive health and social support are more likely to stay in
school and get better grades. Numerous studies have shown too, that
students who use school-based health centers have better grades and attendance
compared to students who do not use centers. School-based
health centers have the capacity to impact dropout by creating school-wide policies
and programs that address a wide range of social and health barriers, including
those that ensure healthier food in the cafeteria, address depression and
prevent suicide, prevent teen pregnancy, prevent bullying, reduce school
violence and support student’s ability to thrive in the classroom.
health center staff play a critically important role in recognizing the social
factors and stressors students face and can work with the school and community
to remove those barriers so students stay in school and stay healthy,” said
Terri D. Wright, director of the Center for School, Health and Education.
established within APHA as part of a two-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg
Foundation, aims to build on the success of the School-Based Health Care Policy
Program, a six-year initiative that generated significant changes in policy at
the local, state and federal levels to stabilize and grow school-based health
care. The Center is now working to expand the role of school-based health
centers across the country, protect
federal funding for them, and ensure that reauthorization of federal education
policy includes comprehensive student health and wellness measures.
have the opportunity to stay connected with the Center through APHA’s social
media channels such as Facebook
and Twitter. Advocates can
also opt to receive periodic email announcements as well as to take action on
relevant advocacy items.
about APHA, visit www.apha.org.