Stanford HELP operates on the principle that a healthy body and a sound mind are a necessary foundation. Many health habits and attitudes are acquired during childhood and early adulthood and have both immediate and long-term consequences. Unhealthful practices are not only harmful to the individual but also costly to the society.
The objective of the comprehensive health education program is to equip young students with knowledge, tools, and skills to make sound choices and informed decisions for themselves. The curriculum is science based, interactive, and activity driven with maximum participation of the children in a small group teaching format whenever possible.
Individual curriculum is designed to be age appropriate for school children in grades 6-8. The curriculum addresses all issues relevant to the physical and emotional well being of the child. It includes topics, when appropriate, such as nutrition and eating disorders, exercise, cardiovascular health, sleep, tobacco use, alcohol abuse, substance abuse, puberty and adolescence, pregnancy and contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, safe behavior and environment, self-concept and self-esteem, social behavior and relationships, stress and coping mechanisms, careers and professions.
Through HELP for kids, children receive the curriculum multiple times, through grades 6, 7, and 8. Qualified undergraduate students from the community present the curriculum in the classroom, in partnership with the schools. Worksheets and study materials are provided to the children for reinforcement of the teaching messages, follow-up action, and dialogues with children’s family members. The efficacy of the program is being assessed and evaluated with respect to knowledge, attitude, and behavior of the children.
University students who present the program also serve as positive role models and mentors for the children. H.E.L.P. has worked with the schools in the Redwood City School District since 1992 on this project with the participation of undergraduate students from Stanford University.