Save The Children: The School Health and Nutrition Health Education Manual

We expect that this manual will be of use and interest to many in our Children for Health community. We have included many extracts from the manual in our topic activities sections under the heading’ lesson plans’. We will always be interested to know how people are using the activities we suggest, please send us stories, photos and videos to share your experiences with us and others.

Here is an extract from the introduction to the manual:

Over the past several years, Save the Children has developed tools for country offices to use in their School Health and Nutrition (SHN) programs. The implementation tools include their:

  • Common Approach to School Health and Nutrition Programs;
  • a Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Questionnaire; School Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
  • Check-lists;
  • Sample Operations Manuals; and several other tools.

Although these tools have been helpful to many SHN Program Managers, we have heard from colleagues around the world that there’s been something missing: A health education manual.

The School Health and Nutrition Health Education Manual is an answer to this gap. It is a collection of lesson plans on 23 topics that make up a comprehensive SHN curriculum. The lessons have been grouped into like topics:

  • Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
  • Infectious Diseases, Including Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
  • Taking Care of Our Bodies
  • Preventing Disease and Injuries
  • Nutrition
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health, Including HIV and AIDS Prevention

Not all SHN programs will use all 23 topics, but these lessons represent priority topics for most programs and should be included in a comprehensive health curriculum. Each SHN program may choose to elaborate more on key topics, based on its country office’s SHN strategy and what is appropriate for their country and the children they’re teaching. Similarly, SHN programs may choose to not include some topics.

The lesson plans have been written as examples that can be used as they are. They have been written to be given in about 60 minutes and to be appropriate for children aged eight to ten. SHN Program Managers should modify the lessons to take an appropriate amount of classroom time for the schools they work with, and they should modify the activities so that they are appropriate for the ages their program is targeting. These lessons can also be used in after-school or extracurricular settings with appropriate changes.

Furthermore, the lessons can also be divided into smaller lessons so that one “lesson” can be used over the course of a week or month. Some of these lessons have steps, based on the basics of child-to-child methodology, that require children to collect data at home, analyse the findings at school with the assistance of the teacher, and to take action with the findings. These steps could also become individual lessons.

Additional modifications should be made to respond to each impact area. For example, stories should contain names that are common to the geographical location. Foods that are listed in the manual should be foods that are commonly available. References to diseases, vegetables, fruits, soap, toothbrushes, and other objects should also include the local names.

This manual has very little in the way of art and graphics. This choice was intentional. Art and graphics are best when they’re specific to their locations. Therefore, we encourage each country office to work with a local designer to create images that resonate with the children in their impact areas.

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