195566 Can you successfully implement a coordinated school health program into a rural community?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 10:30 AM

Charles Holmes, MSPH , Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, Univeristy of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
Susan Farner, PhD , Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
Background: The Coordinated Approach to Child Health has been implemented in over a thousand schools throughout the United States. This study examines the process of implementing a Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP) into a rural school with a high minority population.

Methods: From April 2007 to May 2008 Lorenzo R. Smith Elementary, located in Hopkins Park, IL, was the focus of a CSHP implementation as part of a joint effort between UIUC, IDPH, and UI Extension at Kankakee. In this study we required teachers and faculty to participate in the CATCH training program. Upon completion, each of the individuals was given a CATCH packet containing the needed materials for them to implement the program. The areas of interest were Classroom Curricula, Physical Education, Cafeteria Offerings, and overall Parental Involvement.

Results: Based on the findings of the 50 participants we found that the program has been successful in its first year of implementation: How important is it for all staff and faculty to participate in a coordinated school health program? (4.54 / 5), The children do enjoy the CATCH program (P= .016) and MVPA throughout the year increased an average 23.25%.

Conclusion: Based on the results found in this study we believe that these Coordinated School Health Programs, more specifically CATCH, can and should be implemented into all schools throughout the United States. Most importantly, the parents and children of Lorenzo R. Smith Elementary have repeatedly expressed their enjoyment of the program and the MVPA results support their enthusiasm.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the CATCH program. 2. Describe a coordinated wellness program for an elementary school.

Keywords: Child Health Promotion, School-Based Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This is the content of my completed Master Degree Thesis
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.