Changing health education
through experiential learning,
one gym class at a time.


Posted on 12 Jul 2013 0 comments


HealthClass 2.0, a civic engagement project housed at The New School, is an experiential learning program empowering New York City youth to engage in new conversations about health, food and exercise. HC2.0 supports students in learning about health through a powerful, multifaceted framework: combining exercise with vocal affirmations, engaging in healthy and mindful eating, and considering the power of individual decision-making in social context. Our holistic approach to health education frames fitness and food education as core to developing critical thinking skills and a strong sense of self among 6-12 graders and our college leaders. HC2.0 encourages students not only to create healthy habits for themselves but also to consider structural factors, which contribute to health and food insecurity issues in many under-resourced communities. HC2.0 doesn’t just combine exercise and healthy eating; we unite the two under a weekly self-empowerment theme that infuses every jumping jack and each delicious bite with energy and intention.

What we do

  • inspire kids to have fun through mindful exercise and healthy eating.
  • provide each student with a delicious snack from one of our sponsors.
  • educate our New School leaders on the broader context of their work in a full-semester academic course.
  • select community partners with a commitment to wellness education.
  • work with our community partners to build long-lasting relationships.
  • believe that educating young people to be healthy, confident, and engaged human beings should be core to any serious educational mission.

What we don’t do

  • scare young people by fanning fears about the dangers of obesity.
  • list off random nutritional factoids or label certain foods as “bad”.
  • train HC2.0 leaders to “deliver” static lessons.
  • partner with all schools that approach us.
  • parachute in for a semester and then leave.
  • blame our students and their families for the health problems prevalent in their communities.
  • see food and fitness education as a “frill” on “real” academic work.

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