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About Kleist


The Kleist Health Education Center goes far beyond the traditional museum. Instead of our visitors passively watching, our health education classes are interactive, animated and full of vital health information.

The Kleist Health Education Center is an exciting and stimulating facility for students’ teachers, and Southwest Florida community members. All of our timely, challenging, and thought provoking health education programs are aligned to meet Florida's Common Core State Standards, assisting administrators and educators with school curriculum. Many of our teaching aids and program content enhance the latest in health education research. Our health education staff extends to you and your associates a personal invitation to make the Kleist Health Education Center an integral part of your instructional activities.

Welcome from the Director!

The Kleist Health Education Center, part of the College of Health Professions and Social Work, located at the entrance of Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida is an educational not-for-profit organization devoted to endorsing healthy lifestyles. By teaching and promoting positive health choices, the Kleist Health Education Center strives to prevent health problems and illnesses before they begin.

The health education center is the only one of its kind in the state of Florida, providing a unique health education learning experience for children and adults within the Southwest Florida community. Highly skilled instructors bring three teaching theaters to life using dynamic models, exciting displays, and various multimedia presentations. The staff of the Kleist Health Education Center takes great pride in creating a positive, rich student-centered learning environment that is well grounded in didactic knowledge coupled with strong teaching strategies.

Our health education center will continue to support and provide valuable resources to our surrounding Southwest community. I invite you to explore our interactive website further to learn more about who we are and the programs we can offer to you, your school groups, or adult community.

As you know, comprehensive health education can promote learning, not only in health education but in other core academic areas as well. Healthy and happy students learn better! Research indicates that students who receive comprehensive health education build knowledge, skills, and develop positive attitudes about their own health. Many studies indicate that students, who are healthy: have higher attendance rates, receive better grades, have fewer behavioral problems, have increased concentration, and perform better on assessments. Other studies provide strong evidence suggesting that there is a link between traditional literacy and health literacy; Florida Blue believes that supporting early education and literacy is an important investment in children’s academic success and their long-term health.

Health education not only builds a strong foundation for physical, emotional, and social health but helps motivate individuals to improve and maintain their overall quality of health and well-being. Health education can aid in preventing disease and can reduce high risk behaviors by giving individuals the tools that they need to make informed-healthy choices throughout their lifetime. We as educators know that a solid comprehensive health education curriculum can help students and their families make positive changes in behavior that will help lower the risk of using alcohol, tobacco products, and other drugs.

As a member of the Lee County School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC), I feel that providing comprehensive K-12 health education is the key to a healthy future for our students of Southwest Florida.Currently there is some support towards this effort, but not enough. Please join us in the movement to advocate for healthier students by providing quality comprehensive health education. Please speak to your community leaders, school administrators, school board members and parents within the community. Please feel free to contact us here at the Kleist Health Education Center so we can work collaboratively to provide quality health education programs for our students within the Southwest Florida community!


Renee L. McFarland, Ed.D.
Executive Director, Kleist Health Education Center


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