Largest school health conference kicks off in West Virginia

Nearly 2,000 educators and health care providers will get a training “shot in the arm” as part of the statewide KidStrong conference.
In its 12th year, KidStrong is the largest and most comprehensive conference in the state dealing with a variety of health and social issues impacting the well-being and educational success of West Virginia children. Throughout the conference, educators and health care providers will be able to network to best serve the needs of young people and their families through collaborative relationships.
Frank DeAngelis, former principal of Columbine High School, spoke during the opening of the three-day conference Wednesday at the Charleston Civic Center. His message, “All Students Matter,” focused on school culture and leadership.
Organizers of the conference hope those in attendance gain practical ideas and strategies to improve student health and educational outcomes through teaching and learning, positive school environment and high quality health and mental health services.
“It’s great to see teachers, school nurses and counselors all coming together to learn and ultimately find ways to help our students succeed in the classroom,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano.
This year’s conference theme, “Building community and school partnerships” has expanded to include additional educational components to ensure the success of students and their families including Graduation 20/20, Foundations for Reading, Microsoft Imagine Academy and Youth Mental Health First Aid.
Participants will attend sessions on various topics including immunizations, drug trends and awareness, human trafficking, dropout prevention, teen pregnancy and personalized education.
The West Virginia Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Resources, Marshall University School Health Technical Assistance Center and West Virginia Immunization Network combined various summer conferences and workshops, once held separately, to form the KidStrong conference.
For more information, contact Kristin Anderson at the West Virginia Department of Education Communications Office at (304) 558¬-2699 or