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Research Project: Childhood Obesity Prevention

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: The Team Up for School Nutrition Success workshop evaluation study: 3-month results

Author
item Cullen, Karen - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item Rushing, Keith - University Of Southern Mississippi

Submitted to: Journal of Child Nutrition and Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/5/2017
Publication Date: 5/17/2017
Citation: Cullen, K.W., Rushing, K. 2017. The Team Up for School Nutrition Success workshop evaluation study: 3-month results. Journal of Child Nutrition and Management. 41(1):1-9.

Interpretive Summary: This study evaluated whether the Team Up for School Nutrition Success pilot workshop met the objectives of the individual action plans created by school food authorities (SFAs) during the workshop. The action plans could address improving one or more of the following areas: increasing meal participation, financial management, menu planning, and plate waste. Twenty five SFAs were interviewed by telephone about four months after the workshop. Questions asked about the status of action plan goals and outcomes, and barriers encountered, and obtained comments about the workshop. Most SFAs reported that they did not finish their action plans at the workshop. The networking at the workshop and after they returned to their districts was very helpful. The majority thought that a follow up phone call with an Institute of Child Nutrition scientist and the attendees from their state would help them complete their action plans. Some goals were attained, but many had to be postponed until the following school year due to lack of resources. The concept and general format of the workshop was sound; most SFAs reported the workshop was a positive experience. However, it appears that too many topic areas may have been covered during the workshop, with not enough time for participants to talk with peers and develop goals and action plans.

Technical Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the Team Up for School Nutrition Success pilot initiative, conducted by the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN), on meeting the objectives of the individual action plans created by school food authorities (SFAs) during the workshop. The action plans could address improving one or more of the following areas: increasing meal participation, financial management, menu planning, and plate waste. This paper presents the results of the three month evaluation. Twenty five SFAs participated in telephone interviews about four months after the workshop. The interview script consisted of four sets of questions developed to query the status of action plan goals and outcomes, and barriers encountered. A fifth question obtained comments about the workshop, such as participation in pre- and post-workshop webinars. The transcripts were reviewed and coded, and a spreadsheet was created. During the interviews, most SFAs reported that they did not finish their action plans at the workshop. Six reported they were too busy after returning from the workshop to continue working on their action plans. Many noted that networking at the workshop and after they returned to their districts was very helpful. The majority thought that a follow up phone call with an ICN scientist and the attendees from their state would help them complete their action plans. Some goals were attained, but many had to be postponed until the following school year due to lack of resources. It appears that the concept and general format of the workshop was sound; most reported the workshop was a positive experience. However, it appears that too many topic areas may have been covered during the workshop, with not enough time allocated for participants to engage in peer-to peer mentoring and the development goals and action plans.