Title

Health and Wellness: Expanding Education for an Under-Addressed Issue

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Research shows a fundamental lack of well-rounded education for adolescents in three key areas: healthy relationships, mental health, and nutrition and exercise. This problem exists on a global spectrum from noncomprehensive sex education to general misconceptions about mental health; insufficient wellness education is a problem that affects not only youth but entire countries and populations.

We have identified that the problem impacts two key local demographics: rural Montana school districts and homeschooling Montana families. There is a high number of very small, low income school districts in Montana. These school districts with limited funding often resort to having one teacher who instructs multiple subjects out of financial necessity. This can often lead to curriculums not being fully taught and important topics left unaddressed, most frequently in regards to wellness education. Additionally, Montana has a high number ofhomeschooled students, over 4500 in 2018, whose parents need information regarding wellness education for their children.

Our group has created an online resource guide to provide wellness information that is available to the public. We created this guide using resources that matched the best practices identified by current research in wellness education. It has two main sections: children and educators. The "children" section consists of fun educational resources, such as games, videos, and apps. The "educators" section contains teaching tools on wellness subjects catered to teachers, parents, and associated organizations. After meeting with wellness professionals and working with the Boys and Girls Club, we promoted this website on social media and reached out to Montana educators and homeschool organizations.

Category

Interdisciplinary (GLI)

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Apr 17th, 1:40 PM Apr 17th, 2:00 PM

Health and Wellness: Expanding Education for an Under-Addressed Issue

UC North Ballroom

Research shows a fundamental lack of well-rounded education for adolescents in three key areas: healthy relationships, mental health, and nutrition and exercise. This problem exists on a global spectrum from noncomprehensive sex education to general misconceptions about mental health; insufficient wellness education is a problem that affects not only youth but entire countries and populations.

We have identified that the problem impacts two key local demographics: rural Montana school districts and homeschooling Montana families. There is a high number of very small, low income school districts in Montana. These school districts with limited funding often resort to having one teacher who instructs multiple subjects out of financial necessity. This can often lead to curriculums not being fully taught and important topics left unaddressed, most frequently in regards to wellness education. Additionally, Montana has a high number ofhomeschooled students, over 4500 in 2018, whose parents need information regarding wellness education for their children.

Our group has created an online resource guide to provide wellness information that is available to the public. We created this guide using resources that matched the best practices identified by current research in wellness education. It has two main sections: children and educators. The "children" section consists of fun educational resources, such as games, videos, and apps. The "educators" section contains teaching tools on wellness subjects catered to teachers, parents, and associated organizations. After meeting with wellness professionals and working with the Boys and Girls Club, we promoted this website on social media and reached out to Montana educators and homeschool organizations.