211080 Engaging Parents in Local School Wellness Policy Implementation

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 3:30 PM

Peggy Agron, MA, RD , California Project LEAN, California Department of Public Health, Sacramento, CA
Katherine Hawksworth, MPH, CHES , California Project LEAN, California Department of Public Health, Sacramento, CA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture created a federal mandate for schools to adopt wellness policies that address nutrition and physical activity. Community members, especially parents, can play an important role in ensuring the local school wellness policy (LSWP) is implemented. Many barriers exist for parent participation, especially in culturally diverse communities. One strategy that has not been adequately pursued is to provide parents and their key intermediaries with training on LSWPs so they can support policy implementation.


California Project LEAN (CPL) conducted formative research with multi-ethnic, low-income parents that guided the development of a tool kit, Parents in Action: A Guide to Engaging Parents in Local School Wellness Policy, and complementary lesson plans for parents in English and Spanish. These resources were used in trainings held throughout California with parents and their key intermediaires. CPL will share the research findings that informed the development of the tool kit, as well as lessons learned from the trainings.


Preliminary results suggest improvements in participants' knowledge of LSWP and its contribution to student health and wellness; increased skills in problem solving and action plan development; and increase in self-efficacy to support parent engagement.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify one lesson learned in training community leaders on how to support parents to engage in local school wellness policy (LSWP) implementation. 2. List three benefits of engaging parents in LSWP development. 3. Describe how to use the Parents in Action toolkit and lesson plans to educate and involve parents in school wellness policy activities.

Keywords: Advocacy, School Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have earned a Master of Public Health (MPH) and am a health educator with California Project LEAN (Leaders Encouraging Activity and Nutrition). I helped create the survey tool as well as conduct the interviews which led to the development of our "Parents in Action" guide and trainings on engaging parents in advocating for the implementation and evaluation of their local school wellness policies. I also helped facilitate the trainings on how to use our guide to help those working to engage parents to advance wellness policies in schools.
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.