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Example 16 - Annapolis valley health promoting school project Print E-mail
Module 3 Examples

The Annapolis Valley Health Promoting School Project (2006) provides an example of implementing simultaneous interventions to promote healthy eating and physical activity. Interventions that crossed socio-ecological system levels included providing equitable and affordable access to healthy food and physical activity every day (policy and organizational system levels); training and educating food-service and physical-education personnel (intrapersonal and organizational level); involving partners in decision making through workshops, meetings, and access to resources (interpersonal level); and building skills, expertise and leadership (intrapersonal level). Interventions within the socio-ecological level included: the organization of taste tests for students to introduce new foods and conducting wellness and health fairs (intrapersonal level).

The Annapolis Valley Health Promoting School Project (2006) was a horizontally integrated multiple intervention program. Stakeholders from various sectors, such as health and education, included community members, professionals, academics and young people. Multiple interventions to promote healthy eating and physical activity occurred simultaneously at three levels - schools, school boards and the community. That enhanced acceptance and increased the ability to deliver the programs. To plan the programs, students in every classroom were asked to discuss and vote on what physical activities they'd like to see at their schools and parents were asked to fill out a survey. The organizers worked with universities and other agencies on planning and evaluating the program and dieticians worked with parents to assess whether a healthy-lunch workshop was needed and what its content should be.

The Annapolis Valley Health-Promoting School Project (2006) was funded for two and a half years under Health Canada's Canadian Diabetes Strategy, and planned for sustainability from the beginning. Sustainable projects focus on building peoples' capacity to adapt and integrate whatever change is introduced and developing their skills to do that. The project operated on the principle the people most affected should be involved in the planning and implementation process, which for them meant students, staff, parents and community representatives. There was also a project advisory committee made up of people from education, health, sport and recreation and the food industry. Early in the process, the partners and schools began work on the sustainability plan to keep the project moving forward. They assessed structures and conditions which would help sustain the program, including the funding. Key changes, goals and interventions were identified and priorities for them set collectively. (However, because one size will never fit all, the group didn't try to co-ordinate every aspect of the intervention; schools developed their own guidelines and policies for fundraising, for example).

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 March 2009 07:27