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Building relationships is crucial for increasing capacity of nutrition education in schools that need it most.


Mean number of years SNAP-Ed implementers worked with schools by school group representing the level of policy, regulations, and environmental change programming in the 19 case study schools. credit: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2023.03.003

USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) provides nutrition programs to low-income individuals, including students and their families, through a network of community partners who implement the programs.

The results of a new study in Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior It is suggested that SNAP-Ed implementers can improve school readiness for programming by focusing efforts on developing program-specific relationships and capabilities in schools.

Lead author Erin McCrossan, Ph.D., Office of Research and Evaluation, School District of Philadelphia says, “SNAP-Ed implementers make decisions about what types of programming to offer a school based on their assessment of a school’s readiness for change. However, obstacles such as school staff shortages and shortages often prevent Capacity and organizational climate program implementation.

To gain an accurate understanding of how SNAP-Ed community partners determine which programs a school is ready to implement and the organizational factors required prior to the initial implementation of programming, the researchers collected data from the School District of Philadelphia (SDP), a city in which the poverty rate is the highest of all U.S. cities major, as there are barriers to food access and food insecurity. They conducted interviews and observations in 19 SDP schools.

Examples of the types of activities observed in schools included the level of student participation in recess/physical education, the number of students eating school meals, signage related to nutrition and physical activity, and staff interactions with students. Philadelphia is served by seven SNAP-Ed agencies.

The results of the study indicated that SNAP-Ed implementers focused primarily on existing capabilities—such as school climate, school staff motivation, and administrative support—when making programming decisions. Second, the data revealed that SNAP-Ed implementers can develop school staff motivation and ability to implement programming through school staff relationships, resources, and support, responsiveness to needs, parent and family involvement, and prioritizing health in the school.

This study demonstrates that building relationships between SNAP-Ed implementers and school staff was key to increasing school staff motivation and ability to implement programming. Rather than viewing readiness as a characteristic that the school does or does not have, SNAP-Ed implementers can approach readiness as something they have an active role in developing.

Dr. explains. Schools that stand to benefit most from health-promoting changes because there is a strong link between students’ physical health and their social and emotional health, attendance, and academic progress.”

more information:
Erin McCrosan et al., “A Growing Relationship”: Cultivating organizational readiness to influence the implementation of policy, regulations, and environmental programming for change in SNAP-funded school-community partnerships, Available here. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2023.03.003

the quote: In Schools That Can Benefit Most, Building Relationships Is Key to Increasing Capacity in Nutrition Education (2023, June 8) Retrieved June 8, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-06-schools- benefit-relationships-key -capacity.html

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