The purpose of project DiSH (Di=diabetes; S=stroke; H=hypertension) is to arouse awareness in middle school students about the dangers of diabetes stroke and hypertension and about lifestyle changes that can help prevent these deadly conditions. These three diseases are of epidemic proportions among minority populations in the US. Students from the most at-risk populations (Native African and Hispanic Americans) will be targeted in two urban communities. Project goals are: 1) to train a cadre of teachers in content knowledge and pedagogical skills to enable them to work effectively with middle school students; 2) to assist this cadre of “lead” teachers in mentoring other middle school health and science teachers; 3) to develop awareness and instructional materials to support teachers’ work in the classroom; and 4) to involve parents community support groups and churches in the awareness process. These goals will be accomplished first through a four-week intensive course conducted for 25 teachers each summer by an interdisciplinary team of scientists and educators. Pedagogical techniques grounded in constructivist learning theory and the National Science Education Standards will be modeled for teachers who will develop additional activities and try them out with their peers during the 4- week intensive course. All instructional activities will be linked to the participating school systems’ ongoing curriculum. Howard University faculty will provide follow-up observations consultations and training for teachers on their home campuses and also will prepare them to mentor other teachers. Project staff will develop support materials including an interactive CD-ROM and a resource notebook of instructional activities derived from the intensive summer course. Parents and community members will be recruited via existing networks to participate in community support groups awareness sessions and Health Fairs; middle school students will help to organize pblicize and conduct these community awareness activities. Evaluation plans include a range of formative and summative measures related to the four major goals including surveys observation instruments interviews and provisions for informal feedback.
Project DiSH (Di=diabetes; S=stroke; H=hypertension) will develop a school-based program that increases awareness of the medical and lifestyle factors responsible for diabetes stroke and hypertension. Currently these diseases affect a disproportionate number of minorities nationwide. Lead teachers in two predominantly minority school systems will receive training in an intensive summer session at Howard University and then will mentor others. All instructional activities will be linked to the participating school systems- ongoing curriculum. Project staff will develop support materials including an interactive CD-ROM and a resource notebook of instructional activities derived from the intensive summer course.