Abstract| Volume 45, ISSUE 4, SUPPLEMENT , S19, July 2013

Evaluating Long-Term Success: Reunion Class for Low-Income Adults


      Data collection from low-income nutrition education programs is usually limited to short-term quantitative outcomes. The reunion class goals are to gather participants’ qualitative success stories 3 to 12 months after participation through an open dialogue approach and reconnect them with past learning and lifestyle changes.

      Target audience

      Participants of the reunion class are adult graduates of Wyoming’s low-income nutrition education program who have completed the series 3 to 12 months before the class.

      Theory, Prior Research, Rationale

      Participatory Action Research was used to create the program. This allowed for a self-representation of the experience of the participant to be seen, which is not possible from an outside observation. Action planning used during the reunion class emphasized prior knowledge which allowed for problem solving, reflection, and goal setting.


      Data was collected through educator focus groups, graduate focus groups, and individual interviews. Using Healthy Interactions® Healthy Eating in the Real World Conversation Map’sR methodology, participants shared personal successes and struggles with applying what they learned into their daily lives since graduating from the program. Groups of 5 to 10 individuals from different class series throughout the state were reunited to allow for varying perspectives.


      The triangulation of data allowed for a through look at the program’s development. After each stage, the program was revised and re-tested. Pilot programs were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed for reoccurring themes.

      Conclusions and Implications

      The reunion lesson was taught to program educators at an in-service training for implementation across Wyoming. Educators can gather long-term success stories and further the transfer of learning for past participants through the reunion class.


      Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Education.