248847 Fisheries-to-schools toolkit: A partnership approach to culturally appropriate curriculum development

Monday, October 31, 2011

Betty T. Izumi, PhD, MPH, RD , School of Community Health, Portland State University, Portland, OR
Andrea Bersamin, PhD , Center for Alaska Native Health Research, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK
Amanda Peden, BA , School of Community Health, Portland State University, Portland, OR
Julie McWilliams, BA , Department of Academic Programs and Support, Lower Kuskokwim School District, Bethel, AK
Health education curricula are most effective when they are salient to the intended audience. In this presentation, we describe a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach to developing the fisheries-to-schools toolkit, a culturally appropriate curriculum for connecting Alaskan youth to their food system through school meals and in-class education. Fisheries-to-schools is a part of a 3-year CBPR study of the health and economic impacts of a fisheries-to-schools program. The “fisheries-to-schools” concept builds upon the successes of and lessons learned from farm-to-school programs and represent an opportunity to simultaneously improve health among Alaskan youth while contributing to the resiliency of Alaska's fishing economy by connecting Alaskan educators and school food service professionals with independently and Native owned and operated commercial fishing businesses. Studies have shown that efforts to integrate regional foods into school meals are more likely to be successful when accompanied by food systems education. The fisheries-to-schools toolkit promotes healthy food choices through increased availability of fish — a nutrient dense and traditional Alaskan food — in school meals while incorporating concepts of local culture, environmental sustainability, and long-term food security into the classroom. The toolkit was developed by a community-academic partnership that includes representatives from Alaska Native villages, K-12 public schools, state agencies, and academia. We will describe a partnership approach to curriculum development including how CBPR was integral to developing the fisheries-to-schools toolkit, the challenges and opportunities of using a CBPR approach to culturally appropriate curriculum development, and implications for other CBPR efforts to promote health among Native youth.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the need for culturally appropriate health promotion curricula 2. Describe components of the fisheries-to-schools toolkit 3. Identify ways in which CBPR influenced the fisheries-to-schools toolkit development process 4. Discuss implications for using a CBPR approach to promote health among Native youth.

Keywords: Curricula, Native and Indigenous Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a co-investigator of this project
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.