In collaboration with Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M University, we will implement and evaluate the impact of 2 intervention programs (the Junior Master Gardner Program, and Walk Across Texas Program) designed to improve physical activity and eating behaviors of children at thirty-two CATCH elementary schools in Texas.
The overall goal of this Randomized Controlled Trial is to assess the efficacy of a Comprehensive School Health program (i.e. CATCH) enhanced with theory-based, family-focused, experiential garden, nutrition and/or physical activity programs on the prevalence of child obesity in 3rd grade students (n=1600 students in 32 schools). The home food and physical activity environments will be targeted through the following two Extension programs: 1) Revised version of Junior Master Gardener (JMG) Curriculum: Health and Nutrition From the Garden, and 2) Walk Across Texas (WAT). Schools will be randomized into 4 treatment conditions: CATCH only, CATCH plus JMG, CATCH plus WAT, or CATCH plus JMG and WAT.
Secondary goals are to determine:
- The effectiveness of Extension Master Volunteers in engaging parents and in maintaining family-focused interventions in schools,
- Overall cost benefit of interventions
- Improve learning outcomes in science, math and language arts
Principal Investigator, GAVA Evaluation Study; Co-Investigator, Texas SNAP-Ed Evaluation
Project Director, Texas SNAP-Ed Evaluation; School Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) Project Director; Texas Grow! Eat! Go! (TGEG)/Project Director; Texas Childhood Obesity Prevention Policy Evaluation (T-COPPE)/Project Coordinator