Volume 37, Issue 4 (2008)
Family Involvement in School-Based Health Promotion: Bringing Nutrition Information Home
Jessica Blom-Hoffman, Kaila R. Wilcox, Liam Dunn, Stephen S. Leff, Thomas J. Power
Abstract. Family–school collaboration related to children’s physical development has become increasingly important as childhood obesity rates continue to rise. The present study described the development and implementation of a literacy based, family component of a school-based health education program and investigated its viability, acceptability, and effectiveness. Interactive children’s books were the mechanism by which students, parents, and teachers received consistent messages at home and school regarding nutrition information. The home–school intervention served to bridge home and school cultures in an urban population. Preliminary process evaluation results indicated that the interactive children’s books were feasible to implement in the school context. Parents, children, and teachers had positive perceptions of the books. Parents who received the books demonstrated increased knowledge of “5 a Day,” which highlights the importance of eating fruits and vegetables. Although not statistically significant, after the first and second years of intervention, parents in the experimental group reported that their children were eating 0.54 and 0.36 additional servings of fruit and vegetables per day compared with children in the control group. The program did not seem to influence the availability and accessibility of fruits and vegetables at home.
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