Community Engagement

 
Community involvement is important to buy-in among parents, students, and stakeholders.  Opportunities to engage the community in physical activity plans centered on students include the development community gardens,

Best Practices

Bradley County

We have in place a comprehensive physical education curriculum K-12 in which all teachers have been trained and refreshed on proper use of the curriculum. We offer indoor and outdoor adventure activities to all students through the use of climbing walls, sport walls, high ropes courses, outdoor mountain biking classes, spin classes, and other fitness related activities provided in the gym and in fitness rooms. All schools, with the exception of one, within our district have walking trails that are utilized during the school day and after school hours by students, family, and community. We work closely with the local YMCA to continue after school activity time at all elementary locations.

Loudon County and Lenoir City School

P3 is a symbol for “Positive Peer Pressure.” Students in this organization work to use their positive influence on their peers to help them make healthy lifestyle choices. We provide leadership opportunities through conferences, camps, and trainings. These leadership opportunities include Tennessee Teen Institute (week long leadership conference held at Tennessee Tech) and the Fall P3 Leadership Conference, both of which allow students to develop leadership skills, learn strategic planning and create action plans for their individual schools.

The rest of the school year finds P3 Clubs carrying out their action plans at their schools. Quest camps are week-long, free day camps in Loudon County for students in grades K-8 from both school systems. This is our third year of offering FREE lifetime physical activity, nutrition and STEM camps. We started with about 75 students three years ago and now have grown to 220 students between the city and county school systems. Expansion includes K-2, 3-5 and 6-8 camps all of which emphasize physical activities such as swimming, hiking, rock climbing, fishing, archery and pickle ball as sports that can continue for a lifetime.

Nutrition is a big focus, particularly gardening as most of the sites are located at or near a school or community garden. Other health related topics such as the harmful effects of tobacco are also explored. High school students participate as counselors and at least half of my counselors are in their second or third year. Parents are encouraged to participate in family night where the students can show off their experiments and new found skills. While we do not charge for this camp experience, a great deal of time is spent throughout the year seeking funding to support these camps.

Walmart, the Loudon County Education Foundation, the Loudon County Health Department and Health Improvement Council as well as the schools help provide the $30,000 needed to operate these six camps. The PLAYLoudon task force is a community group focused on educating and encouraging the importance of healthy eating and exercise, and living an overall healthy lifestyle. PLAYLoudon is a sub-committee of the Loudon County Health Improvement Council, which the CSH Coordinator is the current chair and the Health Educator, co-chairs PLAYLoudon. PLAYLoudon has launched several initiatives aimed at providing local residents with the tools and infrastructure needed to adopt healthy lifestyle practices.

Tools and Resources

empower me4life

  • empowerME4Life is an eight session healthy living course that equips young people ages 8-12 with new attitudes, skills and knowledge about eating better and moving more. It is designed for implementation in out-of-school time and community settings and to be facilitated by teens or adult allies. Each lesson helps participants understand the importance of these skills and behaviors, provides some practice in a fun and interesting way, and offers ideas to take home.

Joint Use Agreement

A joint use agreement (JUA) is a formal agreement between two separate government entities–often a school and a city or county–setting forth the terms and conditions for shared use of public property or facilities. 

  • Joint Use Agreement 1: Opening Outdoor School Facilities for Use During Non-School Hours is the simplest of the model joint use agreements. It is an agreement in which the community can use designated school district outdoor recreation facilities.
  • Joint Use Agreement 2: Opening Indoor and Outdoor School Facilities for Use During Non-School Hours is a model agreement in which the community can use designated school district indoor and outdoor recreation facilities.
  • Joint Use Agreement 3: Opening School Facilities for Use During Non-School Hours & Authorizing Third Parties to Operate Programs is a model agreement in which the community can use designated school district indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, and it also allows for third parties, such as youth organizations or youth sports leagues, to operate recreation programs using school facilities.
  • Joint Use Agreement 4: Joint Use of District and City Recreation Facilities is a model agreement in which the school district and local government agree to open all or designated recreational facilities to each other for community and school use. It also allows for third parties, such as youth organizations or youth sports leagues, to operate recreation programs using school facilities.

Tennessee Recreational Joint Facility Use Finder

  • This tool helps communities find recreational centers or facilities that have agreed to share indoor and outdoor facilities such as playgrounds, gymnasiums, and athletic fields.

Research Evidence

Pathways curriculum and family interventions to promote healthful eating and physical activity in American Indian schoolchildren

Elementary schoolchildren's perceived competence and physical activity involvement: the influence of parents' role modeling behaviors and perceptions of their child's competence