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Getting REAL in Health Education With a Skills-Based Approach


To watch a recording of this webinar, please register and then follow the steps to watching an on demand recording.


Skills-based health education describes an approach to teaching health that emphasizes skill development over knowledge acquisition. Based on the National Health Education Standards, a skills-based approach prepares students to be health-literate consumers and empowers them to apply their learning in ways that maintain or improve their health.

Join us for this webinar that discusses the evolution of the health classroom from a place where students simply learn information about their health to a class that is hands-on and REAL (relevant, engaging, applicable, lifelong skills)!








Sarah Sparrow Benes, EdD, CHES, is a senior lecturer and program director in physical education and health education at Boston University. Sarah teaches a variety of undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in health and physical education, does service projects in local communities, and conducts research on health education and physical activity in schools. She has numerous publications in refereed journals and chapters examining health education; she has also made more than a dozen presentations on skill-based health education and related topics at state and regional conferences. Sarah serves on a variety of health education committees, including as a member of the health education steering committee for SHAPE America—the Society of Health and Physical Educators—and as the vice president of health education for the Massachusetts Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Benes consults with school districts on health and wellness issues with a focus on skills-based curriculum development and implementation and is a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and SHAPE America. She is a certified and licensed athletic trainer and health education specialist. Sarah received a bachelor’s degree in athletic training from the University of Connecticut, a master’s degree in education, and a doctorate in curriculum and teaching from Boston University and is currently working on an MPH. She lives in Natick with her husband, two daughters, and yellow Labrador. She enjoys spending time with her family on nature walks and enjoying the sights and sounds of the Northeast.


Holly Alperin, EdM, MCHES, has worked to improve the health and academic outcomes of young people by leveraging partnerships in order to strengthen school-level policies and practices both in the health education classroom and throughout the school. She provides training and technical assistance to preK-12 educators, administrators, and staff; teaches preservice and graduate students working toward degrees in health education; and develops and implements trainings to advance the capacity of state and national stakeholders to improve the outcomes of children. Holly is a sought-after presenter, having been invited to numerous local, state, and national events. She is an advocate for ensuring that health educators receive high-quality professional development and takes this responsibility to heart through her personal development and participation in professional organizations including SHAPE America. Holly received her bachelor’s degree in health education and health promotion from Central Michigan University and her master of education in policy, planning, and administration from Boston University. Holly currently lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two daughters. Together they enjoy the best of New England—ocean, mountains, cities, and countless adventures.     








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