173834 LIVESTRONG at school: Engaging students in the fight against cancer

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Claire Neal, MPH, CHES , Public Health, Lance Armstrong Foundation, Austin, TX
Ruth Rechis, PhD , Lance Armstrong Foundation, Austin, TX
Devon McGoldrick, MPH , Lance Armstrong Foundation, Austin, TX
Background: One in three Americans will be diagnosed with cancer. As a result, students nationwide are dealing with cancer, whether with a family member, friend or teacher. Traditionally, lessons on cancer have focused on prevention or cell biology, while few have explored the personal impact of cancer . To address this unmet need, the Lance Armstrong Foundation developed the LIVESTRONG at SCHOOL curriculum to provide K-12 school professionals with an age-appropriate way to teach about cancer and engage students in the fight against cancer in their own communities. Methods: Prior to a national launch, the curriculum was reviewed for age-appropriateness, relevancy and medical accuracy by teachers across the country, curriculum development experts, and a child psychologist. Pilot tests were conducted in 3 school districts across the country. Results were used to update the curriculum's format and content. Once finalized, an online survey was administered to teachers to monitor the program's success in achieving its objectives. Results: Of those implementing the lessons in their classroom: 100% reported their students learned something new about cancer and cancer survivorship, 91% would definitely use the curriculum again, and 65% agreed that their students will now get involved in activities to help people with cancer. Conclusion: Results demonstrate that the curriculum is effective at teaching students about cancer and is likely to engage students in the fight against cancer. Additionally, results indicated that both school professionals and students were interested and motivated to learn about cancer prevention and survivorship in this format.

Learning Objectives:
Recognize the impact of cancer on students across the country Identify the challenges of teaching about cancer and cancer survivorship in an age-appropriate, hopeful, and inspiring way Articulate the impact of formative research on format and content development

Keywords: Cancer, School-Based Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: none
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.