Summary of Community Assessment and Diagnosis
Sherwood Elementary School, which has an intake of pre-kindergarten and 8th grade, is the group testing and evaluation paper; most pupils are African Americans. All of these students come from families with low wages and have a serious health issue, which is obesity. With 97% of all students at Sherwood Elementary coming from low-income backgrounds, obesity and overweight concerns are extremely likely to prevail. Another disorder which is widespread in this age community is asthma. It was noticed, on an analytical tour, that all classes had at least one obese pupil. She argued that the school had illness prevention and health education programmes in an interview with a school nurse and that asthma was not unusual at the school, but obesity was the main concern. Therefore, as the school hazards with the highest importance, the paper chose asthma and obesity. It can be remembered that while there has been some progress in reducing asthma in American public schools, obesity remains a significant concern to date.
By using weight status and wellness, Healthier People 2020 has placed obesity as the number one health issue for eradication, achieving a decreased likelihood of cardiovascular illness by keeping a healthy body weight and eating healthy diets. Obesity is related to some infectious conditions, such as asthma and obesity control, so it is possible to stop both diseases. The aims of the Nutrition and Weight Status stress human actions and environments that facilitate good weight management and dietary patterns, which can be in contexts such as families, classrooms, and organisations in this situation. As established by Safe People 2020, school is a significant environment for achieving a quality health community.
The plan will outline a three-year program that will seek to build on the existing programs seeking to address issues of health via preventive health, nutrition, fitness, education, and outreach programs. The plan will focus on obesity as core poor health symptom, which also increases the risk of asthma, with a system approach that seeks to enhance any existing programs by adding new ones related to family education, fitness, and food. This is increasingly relevant in order to combat junk food ads in the mass media when encouraging reforms to an atmosphere that supports outdoor fitness, riding and walking (Shediac-Rizkallah & Bone, 2010).
The strategy would revolve around three priorities, all of which would be to stimulate the need for and affordability of nutritious food through family engagement, benefits, and education. This will aim to expand on the Safe Corner Stores Initiative’s current programme, which is an investment programme that aims to compensate business owners and customers for making a healthy food decision (Shediac-Rizkallah & Bone, 2010). The goal is to incorporate education and encourage healthier eating into all facets of the programmes of Sherwood Elementary. The second aim is to expand and promote low-cost and, in the case of those at school, free exercise services driven by the school and community around the school. It will also aim to build hospitable areas around the school and inside the compound for cycling and walking along the streets. In order to accomplish this aim, there will be an evaluation of current neighbourhood and school-based exercise facilities as well as study best practises for weight loss and other peer support groups that will help to establish a Sherwood Elementary School curriculum (Shediac-Rizkallah & Bone, 2010). For preparation, as well as the establishment of a framework for the celebration and encouragement of healthy behaviours and weight loss, leaders in the school should also be searched out.
The third objective will be the development and coordination of school-wide campaigns that will seek to promote healthy living (Shediac-Rizkallah & Bone, 2010). This will engage students and their families in designing promotional and educational materials on the benefits of nutrition, stress reduction, exercise, and healthy cooking. The school will also seek to sponsor one month as the healthy Living Month with similar promotions for coordination across programs in the school that are relevant. This month will include obesity reduction and prevention classes, as well as asthma awareness programs together with other fun events (Shediac-Rizkallah & Bone, 2010). These programs will be promoted through the school’s portal and other forms of media.
In the teaching plan, these objectives are to be implemented over a three-year period with the main goal of the teaching plan being the integration of activities to reduce weight and enhance better eating (Shediac-Rizkallah & Bone, 2010). This will be by information gleaned from partnerships with organizations in the community, health care professionals in the school and the community, as well as other researchers. There will be two objectives in the teaching plan as it seeks to achieve its goal, one of which is to track progress on the integration of weight status into their lifestyles. Another objective will be the collection of data and its analysis to track the participation of students in the program, its progress, as well as the outcomes (Shediac-Rizkallah & Bone, 2010).
Teaching strategies will be based on age of students with lower grade students being taught to change their habits of eating, education on the types of healthy food available in the community and the school, and encouragement to walk around the school grounds (Shediac-Rizkallah & Bone, 2010). For the higher-grade students, they will be educated on healthy food in the school, and the community, encouragement to participate in fitness programs, improvements of bike lanes around the school, as well as walking paths, and changes in eating habits. This information can be passed along through various media, including flyers, brochures, school website portal, and class charts, as well as charts in the cafeteria.
The program is to be held in collaboration with community-based groups, which are quite essential since students take their most important meals outside their school in the community (Shediac-Rizkallah & Bone, 2010). The work, therefore, is to be conducted in collaboration with the Sherwood Community of Wellness, the Sherwood Development Council, and other local partners. LISC Chicago with added support for McArthur Foundation, as well as other local partners will give funding, fundraising support, and technical assistance. The teaching plan will seek both primary and secondary intervention; primary intervention to prevent children from becoming prone to obesity and, thus, chronic asthma, as well as secondary in its aims to target obese students for reduction of obesity (Shediac-Rizkallah & Bone, 2010).
Sherwood Elementary and its partners are to begin the implementation of the three major objectives beginning in July 2013 with the basic approach for each objective being adjusted accordingly as the program continues to develop and new information becomes available (Economos & Irish-Hauser, 2009). The plan is expected to run for an initial three years and will consist of monthly meetings among the various partners. There will be a steering committee meeting every two months with the release of plan assessments at the end of every year. The initial meeting will take place in July and will consist of orienting the partners as to the outcomes and expectations of the planning initiative, as well as an overview of planning timelines. There were diverse private and public sector partners invited to be part of the initiative and its implementation (Economos & Irish-Hauser, 2009).
A number of influences and factors greatly contribute to the increase of childhood obesity. The factors range from increased availability of junk food to personal decisions with regard to exercise and eating, as well as lack of access to playing grounds and healthy food (Economos & Irish-Hauser, 2009). Children all go through different experiences in their obesity and asthma journey and, as such, it is essential to recognize that a variety of factors that could lead to obesity among all children exists. In this connection, these factors include, but are not limited to, healthy food access, personal behaviors, early childhood development, and built environment. Following a review of the information from the focus group, various objectives were to be implemented. They encompassed guaranteeing that all children have access to playing spaces that are safe, ensuring that the parents are given adequate and accurate information on their children’s health and healthy foods, and to partner with the community and the school in the incorporation of physical activities at school and outside school (Economos & Irish-Hauser, 2009).
However, there is a couple of possible barriers to learning about obesity and healthy lifestyle. One is the barrier to healthy eating with at least a third of studies into such interventions reporting that funding was an issue, even though they admitted that the challenges of providing healthier snacks and meals were no bigger than for the food currently provided (Economos & Irish-Hauser, 2009). In addition, while the school staff may do their best to encourage healthy eating among children, parents are not as willing as most are on low incomes. In addition, children and staff may not like the taste of the healthier food, which could derail the implementation of the plan. There is also a barrier to motor activity, which, while increasing the amount of motor activity for most children is not difficult, lack of money for equipment, indoor space, and scheduled time could hold back the children’s physical activity on school days. In addition, for parents who are generally working for long hours, they find it difficult to encourage their children to take part in physical activity. There is still anxiety regarding the welfare of the school’s neighbourhood (Economos & Irish-Hauser, 2009). Finally, parents may also lack knowledge on how to promote physical activity.
Two community agencies are going to be relied on as referrals for those learners who want to get more information (Economos & Irish-Hauser, 2009). The Sinai health System is a good referral through their web portal with their information simplified from numerous surveys of households, as well as citywide statistics across ethnically/racially diverse communities in the Chicago area. Another agency that learners may be referred to is the Community of Wellness that brought together, as well as coordinated, efforts in asthma, obesity, and diabetes, as well as the ability to address these via health information and careers. The Sherwood Community of Wellness has also facilitated collaborations to link the community to researchers and health service organizations (Economos & Irish-Hauser, 2009).
One method to evaluate whether there is participation in the education plan and whether the learners are meeting the goals and objectives of the plan is to collect and asses various indicators. The first one is the measurement of physical behavior and activities using the president’s Physical Fitness test to select grades, as well as through a Youth behavior Risk Survey in the near future (King & Swinburn, 2011). Another indicator is behavior that is related to nutrition based on self-reporting, in addition to, an analysis of the nutritional value of the school menus. The average body mass index at grade level will also be taken traditionally, although, in the future, the program could use a sample that is scientifically calculated at grade level per the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (King & Swinburn, 2011).
While some improvement has been made in data processing and monitoring, some fields can also be strengthened. While the program currently proposed at Sherwood has been tried at the Duval County Schools, which serves as an excellent source of data in the evaluation of the program (King & Swinburn, 2011). This is especially so with regards to nutrition habits and levels of physical activity in conjunction with body mass index. This, however, is not representative of the school district samples, which subsequently leaves room for collection, and reporting improvement on the data. To improve this, the program should continue to monitor and review additional literature on evidence based interventions and best practices that are effectively proven. The program should also search for other model organizations and communities for the incorporation of unique and effective approaches for the implementation of programs (King & Swinburn, 2011). Finally, the program should collect and evaluate the data to report on its effectiveness, identify which areas require improvement, and determine whether the plan is a good use of limited funds.
- Economos, Christina & Irish-Hauser, Sonya. (2009). Community Interventions: A Brief Overview and Their Application to the Obesity Epidemic. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics , 131–137.
- King, Lee & Swinburn, Ben. (2011). Best practice principles for community-based obesity prevention: development, content and application. Obesity Reviews, 329–338.
- Shediac-Rizkallah, Mona & Bone, Lee. (2010). Planning for the sustainability of community-based health programs: conceptual frameworks and future directions for research, practice and policy. Health Educ. Res, 87-108.