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Growing Healthy Kids Through Healthy Communities

Investigators
Albrecht, Julie
Institutions
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Start date
2011
End date
2016
Objective

Project Goal: The goal of the proposed project is to expand the NE-4H-SEKP to all elementary schools in the LPS district. The project goal will be accomplished through five objectives detailed below.

Objective 1: Recruit and schedule K-2 classrooms from LPS to participate in the program every year until 2015. Our aim is to have 90% of the K-2 classrooms in LPS participate.

Objective 2: Conduct teacher in-service training to train the teachers on effectively implementing the program in their classrooms.

Objective 3: Implement the program in the K-2 classrooms.

Objective 4: Extend the existing program into the entire community of Lincoln through local CLCs in order to teach low income families and their children about nutrition, food preparation, and food safety.

Objective 5: Develop a Preventing Childhood Obesity: A Community Handbook so that extension program in the United States can replicate and implement the program in their communities. Upon particpating in NE-4H-SEKP programming:

Outcome #1, 70% of the youth will indicate that they almost always wash their hands before touching or eating foods based on youth behavior questions. This outcome focuses on is that of youth using safe food handling practices.

Outcome #2, 70% of the youth will indicate through a knowledge question how to choose healthful snacks and/or beverages. The outcome focuses on is that of youth choosing foods according to MyPyramid recommendations.

Outcome #3, 70% of the youth will indicate an increase in knowledge in regards to MyPyramid recommendations and the Dietary Guidelines. This outcome focuses on is that of youth choosing foods according to MyPyramid recommendations.

Outcome #4, 70% of the youth will indicate they almost always engage in physical activity every day through a behavior question. This outcome on is that of youth improving their physical activity practices.

Outcome #5 70% of the youth will indicate that they eat breakfast every day most of the time or always based on a behavior question. This outcome focuses on is that of youth choosing foods according to MyPyramid recommendations. For the family meal program the following outcomes will be used:

Outcome #6: Upon participating in the family meal nights, parents and children can demonstrate an improvement in food safety and food preparation skills and

Outcome #7: Families will be able to plan healthy meals and snacks for a week by demonstrating this skill using the family meal planner and having it reviewed by Extension nutrition staff. The final outcomes will focus on building the community partners and sustainability.

Outcome 8#: By 2014, community partners will identify how they plan to sustain the NE-4H-SEKP."

Outcome 9#: By 2015, a Preventing Childhood Obesity: A Community Handbook will be developed and distributed based on the Growing Healthy Kids thru Health Communities project. Presentations will be made at national conferences and at least five extension units nationwide will adopt the program.

More information

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY:
This application, which addresses Program Area Code A2111 (Extension Interventions to Prevent Childhood Obesity), proposes the expansion of a successful nutrition education school enrichment kit program into all elementary schools (K-2) in the Lincoln Public School District (LPS). Currently, the program is only in schools that are eligible under SNAP-ED Guidelines. However, for an intervention program to be effective it should impact a whole community. Through the program, children five to eight, their parents, and their teachers will learn about and experience the benefits of healthy eating and physical activity through interactive, age appropriate, and proven curriculum. Classrooms will receive curriculum kits that include science experiments, food models, interactive games, and more. The kits will be introduced to the classroom by trained personnel, better equipping teachers to provide nutrition education. In addition to classroom activities, programming will be provided at local community centers to help reinforce to parents and children the principles of MyPyramid, food safety, and food preparation and through teacher workshops designed to increase teachers' knowledge of nutrition basics. The partnership between university extension and LPS, which will be strengthened through this grant, is expected to expand over time to include both urban and rural NE schools, making its modeling potential significant. APPROACH: Extension staff will work with K-2 LPS teachers to explain the program and offers the teachers the use of an instructional kit to help them teach nutrition. The kit contains well-organized learning activities and an easy-to-follow manual so the teacher has everything he/she needs to teach nutrition. Extension staff will deliver the kit to the classroom on a prescheduled date and teach the students the first lesson, which often focuses on food safety - specifically hand washing. The kit is then left in the classroom for three weeks for the teacher to utilize. At the end of the three weeks, Extension staff will return to the classroom to teach the final lesson that is often on healthy snacking. The goal of the teacher training component is to help teachers, understand the connection between food preparation and nutrition. This will be accomplished through various teaching methodologies. During the first year, a face-to-face class for teachers will be offered. This class will have two components - nutrition and food preparation. Working with the CLCs, low-income families will be asked to participate in a family meal program. An invitation will be sent out asking them to sign-up for the program. Due to limited space in the kitchen facilities, only 10 families per session can attend. Families will be provided some assistance with transportation and parking to attend each session. The sessions will last two hours and will include a nutrition and food safety topic, preparing a meal, eating as a family, and some discussion. Finally a Preventing Childhood Obesity: A Community Handbook will be developed so that an extension office across the nation can duplicate this program. The handbook will include: kit concepts and contents, lesson plans, handouts, gardening directions, family meal night recipes, as well as community coalition building ideas, and worksheets. When the final Preventing Childhood Obesity: A Community Handbook is ready for distribution flash drives will be distributed to state extension offices throughout the United States. Data will be analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Quantitative methods will include a matching of pre-post knowledge and behavior questions from the NE-4H-SEKP. The teacher workshop will look at evaluations at the end of the program and at one year follow-up. In addition, focus groups will be conducted to review how the workshop helped the teachers teach nutrition concepts in the classroom. Qualitative analysis will be done on the focus group data. The family meal nights will include a pre- and post-survey and focus group data. A mixed method analysis will be done on this data. Evaluation Plan First, the student evaluation piece will use formative and summative research in a pre-post method to determine knowledge and behavior change of the students. Second, the teachers will be asked to complete a teacher feedback form that uses observational data to assess the behavioral changes of both the teachers and students impacted by the NE-4H-SEKP. Finally, the parents will be assessed using observational and summative research to determine if the family has had any knowledge or behavioral changes.

PROGRESS: 2013/02 TO 2014/01
Target Audience: The Growing Healthy Kids project reaches K-2 students, teachers and parents of students in 19 non-title 1 schools in the Lincoln Public School system. During 2013, 4026 K-2 graders and 105 teachers werethe target audience; 285 parent surveys were received although information was available to all parents of K-2 graders. Changes/Problems: The Growing Healthy Kids curriculum is well received in the Lincoln Public School system. A final evaluation plan is in progress. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? The PI attended the annual meeting of theSociety of Nutrition Education and Behavior where a poster session was held specifically for these grants. In addition, the PI and one of the Educators on the project attended the annual meeting of the Academy of Nutritrion and Dietetics where a poster presentation was given. Three teacher workshops were held to provide updated information for theK-2 teachers in the LPS system. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? The results of our program evaluations have been presented to professionals at two national meetings. The project group is working with the health curriculum specialist at the Lincoln Public School system and informally results are shared with her. Plans are being made to share initial results with the curriculum specialst and participating teachers. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Plans are in the development stages for conducting an evaluation for the final project. We have a window of opportunity this year where the current 5th graders in the non-title 1 schools have not been exposed to the educational program. An evaluation tool is in the development phase.

PROGRESS: 2012/02/01 TO 2013/01/31
OUTPUTS: Objective 1: Recruit and schedule K-2 classrooms from LPS to participate in the program every year until 2015. Our aim is to have greater than 90% of the K-2 classrooms in LPS participate. Objective 3: Implement the program in the K-2 classrooms. Two Extension Educators were hired to implement the Growing Healthy Kids project. Johnna Hall, MS, RD is working with first grade classrooms and is overseeing the family cooking program. She has worked with several partners to get this program started but getting families to come has been difficult. She is working with limited resource families through two schools in Lincoln. Sara Wolfe who was the other extension educator left the program in May to pursue opportunities with a health education company. In May, 2012 the program hired Alyssa Vierregger, M.S. who has a background is in physical activity for youth. Alyssa works with kindergarten and second grade classrooms. Recruited the 16 non SNAP-ED schools grades K-2 for school year 12-13. Had 100% of the K-2 classroom sign up for the Growing Health Kids project. Thirty kits have been in distribution throughout the year, 10 for each grade level. From August 22, 2011 thru June 6, 2012, 128 classrooms have participated in the Growing Healthy Kids project and from August, 2012 to December 31, 2012, 88 kits have been distributed. Overall 1259 kindergarteners, 1371 first graders and 1195 second graders participated in the program. Objective 2: Conduct teacher in-service training to train the teachers on effectively implementing the program in their classrooms. Teacher workshops were held in June and August, 2012. There were workshops held for teachers grade K-2 at each of the two sessions. The 2012 teacher workshops focused on MyPlate, how to incorporate physical activity into the classroom and increase it at recess. Objective 4: Extend the existing program into the entire community of Lincoln through local Community Learning Centers (CLCs) in order to teach low income families and their children about nutrition, food preparation, and food safety. The family meal program, Growing Healthy Kids thru Healthy Families, began in November 2011. A pilot recruitment program was done November 8, 2011 through one of the CLCs. Several family meals programs have been offered but participation has been static with 66 families participating. The program is offered now at schools that are willing to host it and it involves food demonstrations, recipes, and taste testing with the families. The focus of the family meal program is on MyPlate. PARTICIPANTS: Wanda M. Koszewski, PhD, RD; PI and Project Director: provides daily supervision of the project. Molly Anderson-Knot, Project Evaluator: Developed and analyzed Teacher Survey; reviewed pre and post survey for the nutrition education kits. Natalie Sehi, MS, RD; Project Coordinator; Liaison to Lincoln Public Schools; Coordinated Teacher Workshop and was a presenter; Reviews nutrition education curriculum for project. Mary Bell Avery, PhD, Lincoln Public Schools Health Curriculum Specialist: Provided Principal approvals; recruited teachers and classrooms to participate in the project. Johnna Hall, MS, RD, Project Extension Educator: Hired to implement the project and develop the family meal program. Developed kits, deliver kits to classrooms, teaches first and last lessons, restocks kits, and collects impact data. Vierregger, MS, Project Extension Educator: Hired to implement the project and develop the in classroom physical activity lessons. Developed kits, deliver kits to classrooms, teaches first and last lessons, restocks kits, and collects impact data. Karen Wobig, MS, Extension Educator: Coordinates the Growing Healthy Kids project with the SNAP-Ed program. Natalie Sehi, SNAP-Ed/EFNEP Youth Curriculum Coordinator and Extension Educator: Oversees the curriculum development for the kits and the teacher workshops. Lincoln Public School Teachers Grades K-2: Participated in teacher workshops on the school enrichment kits and are delivering the nutrition education via the kits in their classrooms. TARGET AUDIENCES: 1. K-2 public school teachers in Non-Title I Lincoln Public schools: Participated in a formal educational workshop on food and nutrition for K-2nd grade children. One hundred and twenty-eighty teachers participated in the program and taught the kits in their classrooms. 2. K-2 public school children in Non-Title I Lincoln Public Schools. All K-2 classrooms have signed up for the 11-12 and 12-13 academic school year to participate in the Growing Healthy Kids school enrichment nutrition education kits. This is a formalized teaching method which is delivered by Growing Healthy Kids extension staff and their classroom teachers. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: The family component to this program has been challenging. We had to shorten the program in this area because families are only willing to come once and not for a 6 week program. We have found that this has worked better. Recipes are developed, families are able to see the food demonstrations, taste the foods and then are given the recipes to try at home. This has worked better and schools are willing to host this event based on the redesign of the program. We were too ambitious in what we wanted to do and we had to reformat the entire family component in order to meet the needs of the families we are trying to reach.

PROGRESS: 2011/02/01 TO 2012/01/31
OUTPUTS: Objective 1: Recruit and schedule K-2 classrooms from LPS to participate in the program every year until 2015. Our aim is to have greater than 90% of the K-2 classrooms in LPS participate. Objective 3: Implement the program in the K-2 classrooms. Two Extension Educators were hired to implement the Growing Healthy Kids project. Johnna Hall, MS, RD is working with first grade classrooms and is overseeing the family cooking program which will start in March, 2012. She is working with one of the target schools to recruit 10 families for the first family cooking program. She is pilot testing a family meal night at the school to get them interest in the family cooking program. The pilot is scheduled for November 8, 2011. The other Extension Educator is Sarah Wolfe, MS. Sarah's background is in physical activity for youth. She has developed a physical activity in the classroom lesson component which was added to the Growing Healthy Kids nutrition education school enrichment kits. Sarah works with kindergarten and second grade classrooms. Recruited the 17 non SNAP-ED schools grades K-2 for school year 11-12. Had 100% of the K-2 classroom sign up for the Growing Health Kids project. Thirty kits have been developed, 10 for each grade level. From August 22, 2011 thru October 31, 2011, 34 classrooms have participated in the Growing Healthy Kids project. Objective 2: Conduct teacher in-service training to train the teachers on effectively implementing the program in their classrooms. Teacher workshops were held in June and August, 2011. There were workshops held for teachers grade K-2 at each of the two sessions. The workshops were divided into three parts. The first part was introducing the teachers to the Growing Healthy Kids nutrition education kits. The second part was a hand's on healthy snack food preparation session. The last section was on the nutritional needs of school children in grades K-2. Ninety-three teachers participated in the teacher workshops (47 in June and 46 in August). Objective 4: Extend the existing program into the entire community of Lincoln through local Community Learning Centers (CLCs) in order to teach low income families and their children about nutrition, food preparation, and food safety. The family meal program which is going to be called Growing Healthy Kids thru Healthy Families will begin in March 2012. A pilot recruitment program is scheduled on November 8, 2011 through one of the CLCs. The plan is to recruit 10 limited resource families per session. One session will be on Monday evenings and the other session on Wednesday evenings. Transportation will be provided to families. The family must have at least one parent and their K-2 school child attend the program. The family meal program will last 6 weeks. Recipes have been developed for the program. The program will include a six, two hour session in which the families will prepare a meal together, have a nutrition and food safety lesson and develop a family physical activity plan. PARTICIPANTS: Wanda M. Koszewski, PhD, RD; PI and Project Director: Presenter at Teacher Workshops: Hired Extension Educators and provides daily supervision of the project. Molly Anderson-Knot, Project Evaluator: Developed and analyzed Teacher Survey; reviewed pre and post survey for the nutrition education kits. Natalie Sehi, MS, RD; Project Coordinator; Liaison to Lincoln Public Schools; Coordinated Teacher Workshop and was a presenter; Reviews nutrition education curriculum for project. Mary Bell Avery, PhD, Lincoln Public Schools Health Curriculum Specialist: Provided Principal approvals; recruited teachers and classrooms to participate in the project. Johnna Hall, MS, RD, Project Extension Educator: Hired to implement the project and develop the family meal program. Developed kits, deliver kits to classrooms, teaches first and last lessons, restocks kits, and collects impact data. Sarah Wolfe, MS, Project Extension Educator: Hired to implement the project and develop the in classroom physical activity lessons. Developed kits, deliver kits to classrooms, teaches first and last lessons, restocks kits, and collects impact data. Karen Wobig, MS, Extension Educator: Presented at the Teacher Workshop on the school enrichment kits used in the SNAP-ED program. Provided training to Johnna Hall and Sarah Wolfe in the school enrichment process. Lincoln Public School Teachers Grades K-2: Participated in teacher workshops on the school enrichment kits and are delivering the nutrition education via the kits in their classrooms. TARGET AUDIENCES: 1. K-2 public school teachers in Non-Title I Lincoln Public schools: Participated in a formal educational workshop on food and nutrition for K-2nd grade children. Ninety-three teachers completed the three hour workshop and demonstrated a gain in confidence in teaching nutrition in the classroom. 2. K-2 public school children in Non-Title I Lincoln Public Schools. All K-2 classrooms have signed up for the 11-12 academic school year to participate in the Growing Healthy Kids school enrichment nutrition education kits. This is a formalized teaching method which is delivered by Growing Healthy Kids extension staff and their classroom teacher. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
NEBN-36-502
Accession number
224240
Categories
Food Preparation and Handling
Education and Training
Parasites
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants