Family Health: Explorations for Schools and Communities — Phase I

  • Abstract

    This project is a collaboration between the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) a public science and technology center and the Schools Wellness Program (SWP) both at the University of California at Berkeley. This model program will develop and disseminate hands-on activities and follow-up materials clustered around four major health science areas: nutrition and growth respiratory health disease prevention and mental health and the brain. Through a series of leadership training workshops the program will partner health-care professionals with teachers parents youth and community educators to form leadership teams for disseminating the “Family Health” materials. One motivational hook and introduction for the program will be a “Medical Mystery Festival” that draws children and adults through a series of engaging hands-on activities that simulate medical investigations. The festival will be accompanied by activities related to fitness and personal risk assessment that can easily be taught in community settings by parents and youth and by teachers in school classrooms. A second motivational component is LHS YouthALIVE! Theater in which secondary school students present skits featuring health issues of high interest to students and families. Participating schools will use the festival and skits as the kick off for a school-wide program of ongoing activities that teach children: Science principles related to health Decision-making skills that promote healthy choices Leadership skills that promote participation in healthy activities In year 1 the model will be pilot-tested in four schools that comprise an elementary middle school and high school feeder system in Oakland Calif. In years 2 and 3 the model and materials will be refined and extended to eight additional schools in Oakland and San Francisco. The Leadership Training Workshops will directly serve 60 teachers 60 parents and 60 health-care professionals who will be partnered in teams to lead and teach programs for their schools. Sixty secondary school students will be trained to present YouthALIVE! Theater programs in their neighborhood schools and to an estimated 15000 families participating in community events in the San Francisco Bay Region. The Medical Mystery Festival YouthALIVE! Theater and follow-up health curriculum will be presented to an estimated 9000 schoolchildren and their teachers. Information and sample activities for the “Family Health” model will be made available nationwide through an interactive web page and the TAPPED-IN virtual conference center at LHS.