Author(s)Mozhdeh B Bruss
Joseph R. Morris
Rosa T. Palacios
Theory and practice of education
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AbstractThis paper presents a community-school-higher education partnership approach to the prevention of childhood obesity. Public elementary school personnel, primarily teachers, participated in the design and delivery of a curriculum targeting primary caregivers of 8-9-year-old children. Theoretical framework and methodological approaches guided the development of a cognitive behavioral lifestyle intervention targeting childhood obesity prevention in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), a U.S. commonwealth. This project demonstrated that in populations with health disparity, teachers can be a valuable and accessible resource for identifying key health issues of concern to communities and a vital partner in the development of parent and child interventions. Teachers also benefited by gaining knowledge and skills to facilitate student and parent learning and impact on personal and familial health. Successful community-school-higher education partnerships require consideration of local culture and community needs and resources. Moreover, within any community-school–higher education partnership it is essential that a time sensitive and culturally appropriate feedback loop be designed to ensure that programs are responsive to the needs and resources of all stakeholders, and that leaders and policymakers are highly engaged so they can make informed policy decisions.