Professor Helen Bateman and her students have, over the past five years, developed an after-school, community-engagement program to improve students’ knowledge of healthy eating options and exercise: Healthy Bodies and Healthy Minds. Evaluation of the lesson plans has led to revisions designed to increase impact. Approximately 170 children in four middle schools in two school districts have participated. The approach is based on the primary research literature in child, family, and community development … with emphasis on applications to real-life situations.
Dr. Bateman has received a grant from the Associated Colleges of the South that will support work this coming summer in preparing the materials for a project website Healthy Bodies and Healthy Minds: Connecting Communities of Learners. Project development is ongoing; this spring semester faculty and students in the 400-level Community Psychology seminar will spend considerable time in website design and development.
The online, interactive curricular materials will be designed for elementary and middle school teachers and students, thereby permitting expansion across the Southeast of the current collaboration between Sewanee and nearby school districts. Modules will include nutrition and exercise lessons, hands-on activities, materials lists such as food, exercise, and arts & crafts items, as well as assessment tools for evaluation of the lessons. The site will include an internet forum for the exchange of information and generation of ideas. There will be an internet bulletin board on which the participating schools can showcase children’s contributions to the project.