Promoting the well-being of our communities and families
Research to keep our communities strong
Building Capacity of Youth - Active and Media Savvy (YAMS)
Dr. V. Oates, Dr. E. Ekanem, Dr. R. Fleming
Being Black in America is an experience that affects people socially, politically, and economically, and contributes directly to health disparities. Since African American households are reported to watch more television than other Americans, the influences of media may contribute to the disproportionately higher rates of obesity among African Americans. We hypothesize that raising awareness and appreciation of the African American experience and African traditions will mediate positive lifestyle behaviors and counteract the harmful effects of negative cultural values and media. This intervention uses the PEN-3 cultural health framework, community-based participatory research methods, and an adaptive experimental design to: 1) Explore culturally acceptable methods to counteract negative media influences, unhealthy dietary behaviors, and sedentary lifestyles; 2) Increase media literacy and improve the food choices, dietary intake, and nutrition-related attitudes of youth in our communities; 3) Use findings to incorporate culturally empowering health behaviors and messages into a summer camp intervention; and 4) Pilot test and refine the summer camp curriculum using adaptive design methods. The goal of the after-school program is to empower children aged 8 to 14 years to improve their dietary behaviors and practices by increasing: (1) media literacy; (2) healthy cooking and food preparation skills; (3) food safety knowledge; and (4) daily physical activity.
Bringing sustainable environmental consumer practices to the community and the classroom through development and implementation of learning modules
A.S. Ballard de Ruiz, Dr. M. Machara
The objective of this project is to enhance the knowledge of students and community members regarding sustainable consumer choices. To address the emphasis on sustainable living, this project facilitates a student-developed series of interdisciplinary teaching modules to target consumer knowledge and practices related to sustainable living. These modules will be used in Agriculture and Consumer Sciences courses, public information workshops and seminars, and available in an interactive, on-line format through a link to the School of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences. By integrating the concepts of sustainable living into course curricula, this project introduces students to global and regional issues, including climate change and stewardship of natural resources. Information disseminated through service-learning courses will also allow students to become more engaged, as well as more likely to retain the information.
Helping consumers understand how to evaluate products, where to look for information, and how to use that information can result in better investments and cost savings to consumers and a healthier environment. Traditional venues in which information on sustainable living is often disseminated may be less likely to reach minority and low-income homeowners. By creating opportunities for these homeowners to participate in seminars and workshops within their communities, they are more likely to obtain a better understanding of the long term effects of their consumer decisions. Low income populations will be targeted through existing relationships formed between community organizations and the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement.