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Rural Health Information Hub

Emerging Interventions for Schools

Includes newly implemented, untested innovations with some apparent effectiveness in achieving stated aims (i.e., face validity). Strategies may be strong candidates for exploratory evaluation.

  • Program Name: Body Quest: Food of the Warrior
    Change Type: Individual
    Description: Third graders are engaged in the 17-weekly Body Quest classes with Alabama Cooperative Extension System educators using a variety of interactive, colorful and anime-style material, primarily in an Apple iPod medium. The warriors challenge elementary youth to develop healthy behaviors (eating, physical activity, sleep hygiene, and family involvement) through this novel technology.
    Plans to evaluate
    Treatment groups showed a higher consumption of both fruits and vegetables at the end of the intervention compared to control groups.
    • Has tested in rural communities and schools with high percentage of students with a high percentage of free and reduced lunches
    • Partnering with SNAP-Ed and Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities
  • Program name: Creating Healthy, Active, and Nurturing Growing-Up Environments (CHANGE)
    Change type: Individual; Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE)
    Description: Children learn healthy living skills and become positive change agents for their parents, peers, and community with an increase of rural children's access to regular physical activity and healthy snacks in afterschool environments. Targets school-aged children (6-12 years old) in low socioeconomic status (SES), rural regions, including Appalachia, Mississippi Delta, and California's Central Valley.
    Plans to evaluate
    • Tested in rural setting
    • Save the Children is partnering with Tufts University to design, implement, and evaluate
    • Three-year, $1 million evidence-building initiative underway at 30 schools in eight rural communities
    • Examining how supportive environments can help low-income rural children increase physical activity and healthy eating
  • Program name: Safe Routes to School (SRTS)
    Change type: PSE
    Description: Examines conditions around schools and conducts projects and activities to improve safety and accessibility, and reduce traffic and air pollution. Helps make bicycling and walking to school safer and more appealing transportation choices. Provides some guidance for schools located in rural areas.
    Plans to evaluate
    • Tested in rural setting
    • National Review Group comprised of transportation, education, health and advocacy leaders provides advice and feedback
    • Success stories from many states available on website
    • A comprehensive plan to evaluate program outcomes is in progress
  • Program name: School Environment Project; University of Colorado Denver School of Public Health
    Change type: PSE
    Description: An adapted version of Intervention Mapping (AIM) that applies community-based participatory research methods to improve healthy eating and physical activity environments in schools. The tools is intended for university and elementary school partners to facilitate the implementation of environmental and policy changes.
    Plans to evaluate
    • Tested in rural setting
    • Has been applied in multiple schools in rural communities in Colorado
    • A CDC-funded project applying the AIM process to create healthier environments for middle school students is underway and will be completed in 2014
  • Program name: Team Up for Health Living
    Change type: Individual
    Description: A cross-peer intervention developed by researchers at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) and led by ETSU undergraduate students for obesity prevention among adolescents through the high school setting. The two major components were: 1) An eight-week intervention targeting students in Lifetime Wellness classes; and 2) Student assessments of body mass status, dietary behaviors, physical activity, and sedentary behaviors at baseline, three-months, and one year following the baseline assessment.
    Plans to evaluate
    • Tested in rural setting
    • Major descriptive analyses will be conducted on all demographic and baseline data: BMI Z score, dietary intake and physical activity and sedentary behaviors