Objective: The goal of Healthy Schoolhouse 2.0 is to improve health literacy and prevent obesity in elementary school students in Washington, DC.
Description: In its first year, the program team has designed and implemented research, education, and extension activities in two elementary schools. Activities in the experimental setting include a professional development (PD) program that help educate teachers on integrating nutrition concepts into the classroom. The PD is focused on the utilization of USDA's Serving Up My Plate: A Yummy Curriculum and has provided teachers with model lessons and instructional kits, as well as fidelity observations of teachers. PD support also includes health promoting programs for teachers, including a pedometer challenge and yoga activities. Extension programming includes working with a local farm-to-table program and coordinating food education programs.
Evaluation: Research is underway in both the experimental and control school, including the collection of assessments of students' nutrition literacy and teachers' self-efficacy and attitudes toward teaching nutrition. The team also has collected plate waste data on students' fruit and vegetable consumption at both sites. Preliminary findings include no significant differences between student demographics and knowledge on the baseline pre-knowledge assessment in the experimental and control settings, suggesting that any growth in the final assessments (to be completed in June 2018) will the attributable to program activities. Pre-program assessments in teacher attitudes at both experimental and control settings are positive, though we may discover a ceiling effect for this measure in both settings. To date, approximately 60 nutrition lessons have been taught. The team has observed differences in the food service in each setting and will explore how the environment effects food consumption.
Conclusions and Implications: Lessons learned include activities to increase lesson implementation as well as programming designed to engage teachers as agents of change by creating a culture of health within their classrooms and in the school.
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