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Educating for Health*
A child’s world centers on the home, school, and their immediate community, which makes it imperative to these settings to be healthy settings. The creation and maintenance of healthy settings is the result of integrated school health education and health promotion strategies.
Health education and health promotion in the school setting is a fundamental right of all children and adolescents. Health is inextricably linked to school achievement, quality of life, and economic productivity. In acquiring and building knowledge, the values, abilities, skills, and practices necessary for a healthy life are acquired and maintained. Children and adolescents are active participants that are capable of influencing change to benefit their health and of their families and communities.
The creation of healthy spaces is a basic component of integrated school health programs and of the Health-Promoting Schools Regional Initiative, that are expressed through three different and complementary dimensions:
- Physical dimension, where teaching and learning take place, that guarantees minimum conditions of safety and environmental sanitation students and other members of the educational community.
- Psychosocial dimension that fosters a climate of interaction that is harmonious, kind, respectful of human rights, equitable, and free from any form of violence among its members.
- Community dimension that promotes school health programs and activities in accord with the political, sociocultural, and economic reality of the educational community.
All actors in education must be actively involved in this area. Promoting health is a priority for the future of the region. As a result, the Educational Portal of the Americas is joining efforts with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to celebrate "Health in the Americas Week" from April 7-11.?
*The ideas, thoughts, and opinions expressed are not necessarily of the OAS nor of its member states. The opinions expressed are the responsibility of the authors.