State Agency Proposal Summaries
Arizona Department of Education will implement a multilevel intervention to improve the strength of the local school wellness policies of five Local Educational Agencies (LEAs). LEAs will designate Wellness Coordinators who will provide training and technical assistance to help schools implement and assess their local school wellness policy. The State will also support nutrition education in the classroom using Team Nutrition’s Serving Up MyPlate and will engage students in building school environments that promote nutritious choices. Arizona State University will coordinate the evaluation component of the project which will examine the changes in the strength of school wellness policies, implementation, and student, staff, and community engagement. For more information, please contact Erin Raczynski at Erin.Raczynski@azed.gov.
Iowa Department of Education will support and improve healthy child care environments throughout the State by encouraging healthy habits to start early. They will deliver training to 30 child care centers and approximately 400 family day care homes on updated Child and Adult Care Food Program meal pattern requirements and ways to incorporate locally-grown foods on menus. Team Nutrition’s Grow It, Try It, Like It! nutrition education kit will be used to encourage children to try new foods. Parents and the community will also be engaged to support a healthy child care environment. The University of Iowa will use a quasi-experimental research design to gather qualitative and quantitative data to examine program implementation outcomes. For more information, please contact Patti Delger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kansas State Department of Education will engage over 28,000 students in nutrition education activities utilizing Team Nutrition’s Discover MyPlate and ;Serving Up My Plate. To support students taking leadership roles in wellness policy development and implementation, Kansas will host regional Students Leading Wellness into Action workshops. They will also use Team Nutrition’s Local School Wellness Policy Outreach Toolkit to engage parents and the community in creating a healthy school environment. The State will offer comprehensive culinary training courses and materials on menu planning to assist school nutrition professionals with using Kansas-grown products, offering a greater variety of vegetables, and decreasing the sodium content of school meals. New menus will also be developed to provide ideas for alternate meal delivery methods, such as breakfast-after-the-bell and grab-and-go meal options. Kansas State University will conduct a comprehensive evaluation measuring project outcomes using quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. For more information, please contact Emily Brinkman at email@example.com.
Louisiana Department of Education will partner with the Louisiana Department of Health to address the training needs of school nutrition professionals to assist them in preparing nutritious meals that appeal to students. They will deliver culinary skills training to at least 40 Local Educational Agencies. Trainings will improve attendees’ food preparation skills and provide strategies for increasing students’ selection of dark-green, red, and orange vegetables and legumes. Fifteen schools will be awarded sub-grants to strengthen local school wellness policy implementation and engagement using Team Nutrition’s Local School Wellness Policy Outreach Toolkit. Louisiana University will evaluate grant activities to assess changes in food preparation skills, environmental factors, and students’ consumption of vegetables. For more information, please contact Colleen Arceneaux at Colleen.Arceneaux@la.gov.
Michigan Department of Education will train school nutrition professionals to implement student-centered school meal programs, and engage students in cafeteria changes that encourage healthy choices. Students will also receive nutrition education using MyPlate materials. The State agency will work with community partners to provide regional school wellness trainings and an online wellness program to 800 Michigan school nutrition professionals. These staff will be trained to become school wellness leaders utilizing Team Nutrition’s Local School Wellness Policy Outreach Toolkit. Michigan State University Extension will coordinate the overall evaluation of the project. The data collected will be utilized to inform and sustain future efforts. For more information, please contact Nick Drzal at DrzalN@michigan.gov.
Minnesota Department of Education will develop and implement a school breakfast promotion and training campaign across 676 School Food Authorities, and provide in-depth culinary training to 50 school nutrition professionals. The State will also develop an 18-month wellness training cohort for wellness teams in 7 school districts to strengthen their wellness policies, and engage staff and the community in school wellness efforts using Team Nutrition’s Local School Wellness Policy Outreach Toolkit. Serving Up MyPlate lessons will be taught to 450 elementary students to learn about fruits and vegetables, MyPlate food groups, and increasing physical activity. The evaluation will measure the effectiveness of strategies using quantitative and qualitative metrics to identify program outcomes, including changes in school breakfast participation rates, nutrition knowledge, use of behavioral economics techniques, and the strength of the local school wellness policy. For more information, please contact Gail Anderson at Gail.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will provide nutrition education and gardening activities at 40 child care centers and family child care homes using Team Nutrition’s Grow It, Try It, Like It! materials. Child care providers will also receive training on planning meals to meet the updated Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meal pattern requirements and including more Missouri-grown fruits and vegetables. Participants will receive technical assistance and sub-grants to assist with taste testing activities, family engagement, and nutrition education. The Culinary Skills Institute for the CACFP will provide hands-on learning experiences with menu planning and food preparation to enhance child care providers’ abilities to implement the updated CACFP meal pattern requirements. The University of Missouri Extension will assess child care providers’ fruit and vegetable preparation skills, nutrition knowledge, and changes in children’s preferences for fruits and vegetables. For more information, please contact Barbara Keen at Barbara.email@example.com.
Montana Department of Education will provide 250 school nutrition professionals with Team Up for School Nutrition Success training and mentoring to expand culinary techniques and menu planning skills. The State will also connect schools with local farmers to promote student consumption of ten Montana-grown products in the school cafeteria. Team Nutrition’s Discover MyPlate lessons will be utilized to deliver nutrition education to 500 kindergarten students. A School Wellness in Action training will be provided at regional and statewide workshops using Team Nutrition’s Local School Wellness Policy Outreach Toolkit. A Montana School Wellness Administrator Network will be developed for long term support of Local School Wellness Policies. Montana State University will use a process- and outcome-oriented evaluation to measure outcomes and identify best practices. For more information, please contact Katie Bark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rhode Island Department of Education will provide nutrition education in the child care setting using Team Nutrition’s Grow It, Try It, Like It! materials. They will train child care providers to prepare meals that meet the updated Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meal pattern requirements and utilize Rhode Island-grown products in the meals. The State will collaborate with several community nutrition partners to expand their reach through events that provide recipes and cooking demonstrations for parents, caregivers, and the community. The Rhode Island Public Health Institute will measure changes in child care providers’ knowledge and skills, parent engagement, and improvements in policies, practices, and the food environment. For more information, please contact Jessica Patrolia at Jessica.email@example.com.
Virginia Department of Education will provide training and technical assistance on creating a healthy school nutrition environment to 500 school nutrition professionals and other school staff in all 132 Virginia school divisions. Eight garden-themed regional workshops will be conducted using peer-mentors (Cultivators) and subject matter experts (Tillers) to focus on culinary skills with farm fresh produce and how to implement Team Nutrition’s Dig In! and The Great Garden Detective Adventure lessons. The Cultivators and Tillers will provide leadership and technical assistance to support development of healthy school environments throughout Virginia, using Team Nutrition’s Local School Wellness Policy Outreach Toolkit. The Virginia Cooperative Extension will conduct evaluation activities to assess changes to the school nutrition environment. For more information, please contact Sandra Curwood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction will provide training to 50 school nutrition professionals on strategies to increase meal program participation and student engagement. Through culinary-based hand-on education initiatives, 6,200 secondary school students will receive MyPlate nutrition education, including culinary demonstrations, taste testing activities, and a student chef competition. Wisconsin will provide resources and training to 600 school staff members on improving the school wellness environment by leading a wellness collaborative; hosting a statewide school wellness summit; and developing a guide of best practices that includes strategies and resources to improve school wellness. The evaluation will assess the effectiveness of different strategies for improving student participation in school meal programs; increasing student selection of nutritious food options; increasing student nutrition knowledge; and building support for healthy school environments. For more information, please contact Alicia Dill at Alicia.email@example.com.