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Connecticut Fitness and Nutrition Clubs In Motion-Reflection and Future of 4-H STEM in the Prevention of Childhood Obesity

      Objective

      To reflect upon impacts of CT FANs 4-H STEM Afterschool (CT FANs IM) among third and fourth graders, their school, families, and teen mentors.

      Description

      CT FANs IM has been established in five cities of three counties over a five-year span, supported by a curriculum and leaders’ training guide delivered online. An interactive app and cooking videos have been developed and introduced to parents and children; the recipes include produce that can be garden grown.

      Evaluation

      Evaluation has included iPad-based Qualtrics questionnaires and fitness measures for a small subset study. Qualitative interviews have been initiated with current and sustained CT FANs IM sites (youth, parents, teachers, teen mentors). Preliminary teacher input regarding the online curriculum has been favorable. Parent and child teams participated in formative evaluation of the interactive app and cooking videos, and their responses guided design. Follow up interviews with parents suggested at least half of the children later cooked a recipe at home.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Despite the limited intervention time, data suggests a positive influence of behaviors, attitudes, healthy eating, fitness and self-efficacy. The sustainability of CT FANs IM, 4-H STEM programming and gardening has been interwoven with committed school staff and volunteers. For the remainder of the grant, the team will promote the online CT FANs IM curriculum, cooking videos and interactive app via 4-H, EFNEP and current partners and families. These outputs will help to extend the life and influence in prevention of childhood obesity via CT FANs IM.

      Funding

      USDA Team Nutrition Training Grant, 2012-68001-19956

      Supplementary data