Health education is an integral part of the total education of every child from kindergarten through grade 12. Therefore, every student should have the opportunity to participate in quality health education programs. It provides young people with the knowledge and skills they need to become successful learners and healthy and productive adults. To help students adopt and maintain healthy behaviors, health education should contribute directly to a student’s ability to successfully practice behaviors that protect and promote health and avoid or reduce health risks.
Good health and academic success are directly related. Healthy children are better students and better students become healthy, successful adults who are productive members of their communities. Quality health education programs help students achieve their highest academic potential. The Georgia Performance Standards for Health Education provide guidance on the essential skills and knowledge that students should have at each grade level. An effective health education curriculum focuses on learning critical health skills such as communication, decision making, and goal setting. The rationale for the focus on skills is derived from health education theory and is supported by research that has demonstrated the effectiveness of skills-based curricula in influencing students' health attitudes and practices.