263666 Student engagement in school wellness policy implementation through Photovoice

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 10:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Ron Hale, MS Ed , Principal Consultant, Ron Hale & Associates, Santa Fe, NM
Yolanda Cruz , San Miguel County Family & Community Health Council, San Miguel County, Las Vegas, NM
Victoria Sanchez, DrPH, MPH , Dept of Family and Community Medicine, Public Health Program, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Vonnell Bettencourt, MSW , NM Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, NM Department of Health, Santa Fe, NM
Perdita Wexler, MA , NM Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, NM Department of Health, Santa Fe, NM
We report the process and results of a 9-month Photovoice project in which high school students used photography, peer education skills, and advocacy to examine their school and community environments, and to influence the implementation of school wellness policies related to nutrition in one school district in northern New Mexico. The project involved a group of high school students in identifying and documenting barriers and facilitating factors related to healthy eating choices in their school and community. Students recruited from a health career club utilized Photovoice, a tool that enables participants to gather photographic images in their immediate environment, to analyze data collected, and to share the results with the larger community. Participants received training and technical assistance in photographic techniques, research methodology, and school wellness policy implementation. The project culminated in a community event to share results and a follow-up social action plan to advocate for changes in the school environment to support healthy eating choices. The project was conceived and implemented by the Community Diabetes Collaborative, a partnership involving a local community health council, a local school district, a university, and two offices of the state department of health.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe a tool for engaging youth in community research and policy implementation to improve school and community health. 2. Share results of a participatory research project in a high school setting in a predominantly Hispanic, rural community in northern New Mexico.

Keywords: Photovoice, School Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a principal in community-based research projects in school settings. I have done health planning & evaluation for 30 years as an independent consultant and as a program manager for the NM Department of Health, providing training and technical assistance to community health councils and coalitions, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions. I have co-authored articles and presentations in community-based research and have a Master's in education.
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.