Project Title: 30+5: Physical Activity and Nutrition at School
Grant Period: 2006-2009 FORHP Outreach Grantee
Program Representative Interviewed: Nancy Schaefer, 30+5 Coordinator/Health Educator
Intervention Setting: School
Program Overview: The Southern Vermont Area Health Education Center (AHEC) has been working to improve nutrition and physical
activity within three schools across multiple communities. The AHEC began by targeting youth in the 6th-8th
grade, but soon identified the need to work with children younger than middle school.
The AHEC’s initial work with the schools focused on building relationships, buy-in, and trust from
school system members. It formed a planning committee consisting of school nurses, community members, public
health, and hospital representatives. With the committee's guidance, the Southern Vermont AHEC implemented a
program to improve nutrition and increase opportunities for physical activity in schools. The program worked
with school cafeteria staff to set up a salad bar and water cooler and to increase the vegetable content of
meals (including popular items such as pizza).
To implement these initiatives, the AHEC staff focused on cost and identifying strategies the
teachers would be willing to implement, rather than on searching for evidence-based approaches. Ultimately,
teachers said they needed exercise equipment children would use. After an initial equipment purchase, the
program ensured equipment was being used before more was purchased.