8th COLLABORATIVE EDITION Youth Obesity Newsletter, Issue VIII 1) City-School Showcase from Wellness Technical Assistance 2) National Resource Spotlight 3) Other Local Examples 4) Other Resources 5) NLC & AASA Updates 6) Other Updates NLC/AASA Youth Obesity Newsletter
With the support of Leadership for Healthy Communities, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National League of Cities’ (NLC) Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute) has partnered with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) to provide a monthly childhood obesity prevention newsletter. This joint newsletter was established to serve as one of the resources offered to the six cityschool teams participating in the Wellness technical assistance initiative and will continue to be used as a vehicle for sharing resources to the larger network of municipal officials and community leaders. In the spirit of this collaboration, the YEF Institute has also expanded its childhood obesity prevention network to include school administrators from around the country.
1.) City and School Showcase: Boston, MA
Under the leadership of Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the City of Boston has done a tremendous amount of work to improve the health and wellness of its residents. In August the six city-school teams participating in the Wellness technical assistance initiative will be in Boston to attend a closing cross-site meeting. During this meeting they will have an opportunity to learn about some of the great initiatives and partnerships taking place in the Boston community. With Mayor Menino’s leadership, Boston has made addressing racial and ethnic health disparities a key priority. The City is in the process of implementing the recommendations of the Mayor's Task Force to Eliminate Ethnic and Racial Health Disparities, and has already coordinated more than $1 million in grants to dozens of local health organizations. Supporting healthy lifestyles and health-promoting neighborhoods environments is part of this effort, as the disparities in obesity and chronic disease are significant. The Boston Steps project at the Boston Public Health Commission, funded through the federal Steps to A Healthier US initiative, functions in both school and community settings to promote access to nutritious foods, healthy eating, a healthier ‘built environment’ and increased physical activity. Some of Boston Steps’ community initiatives include community nutrition education workshops, supporting farmers markets, neighborhood walking programs, and making local retail districts more walkable. School initiatives include designation of a district-wide Wellness Coordinator who gives technical assistance, training, and provides mini-grants to help individual schools to implement their own wellness action plans. Both the Boston Public Health Commission and the Boston Public Schools rely on a number of public-private partnerships to implement programs. One example is the BPS Healthy Meals pilot program, which features a
professional chef cooking in two schools and educating cafeteria managers about healthier ways to prepare and present meals that are both appetizing and nutritious. This program, a partnership between BPS, BPHC and a local anti-hunger organization, has resulted in enhanced nutritional guidelines that will be implemented system-wide in the next school year. BPS also has a new partnership with the Alliance for A Healthier Generation, which funds a full time staff position to provide technical assistance to schools. Boston has made a major commitment to reducing health disparities and promoting health and wellness. Through grants to community groups, innovative partnerships, and strong collaboration between city, school and health officials, Boston has established policies and programs that promote healthier living for the entire Boston community. To learn more about Boston’s effort to promote health and wellness please visit: www.bphc/bostonsteps.
2.) National Spotlight: The Finance Project
Local collaborations of city, school, county and community partners aimed at addressing health and wellness in a systematic and inclusive way often confront sustainability issues when current programs and policies need additional funding and strategies to sustain them after the initial grant dollars run out, the pilot projects end, or local budget changes occur. Alternatively, collaborations may face program growth as new partners sign on and ideas and projects may be considered that need an additional funding source. The Finance Project, a non-profit research, consulting and technical assistance firm, helps communities and leaders find ways to sustain and finance initiatives that impact children and families. The Finance Project has a wealth of free publications and resources that can be useful to community collaborations interested in taking the next step to sustaining their work around community-wide wellness. Publications, ranging from strategy briefs to funding guides, help leaders think strategically about developing a diverse funding base and strengthening non-fiscal resources, such as engaging unlikely partners and developing key champions, which are necessary for success. Relevant publications for city/school/community partnerships include: A Guide to Successful Public-Private Partnerships for Youth Programs (January 2007) Thinking Broadly: Financing Strategies for Youth Programs (January 2007) Tobacco Settlement Revenues- Recent State Actions and Opportunities for Youth Programs (April 2008) Financing Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs (September 2004) For more information on other publications available at The Finance Project, visit www.financeproject.org. Additionally, The Finance Project has several searchable databases available through their information resource center. You can search the “Promising Practices Catalog” to locate innovate obesity prevention practices from across the nation, or search all of their federal funding guides for specific funds through an online “Finding Federal Funding” tool. You can also look for additional information from one of the other databases, including sustainability planning and youth programs. To access the information resource center, visit http://www.financeproject.org/index.cfm?page=22.
3.) Other Local Examples:
Cambridge, MA The City of Cambridge (population: 101,365) has worked hard to increase the convenience of walking, biking and taking mass transit. This effort was recognized recently when Prevention Magazine awarded the City of Cambridge the great distinction of being the best walking city in America. The magazine and the American Podiatric Medical Association annually measure cities across the country to determine their walkability. In Cambridge, 26 percent of their residents walk to work. Additionally, bicycle commuting in Cambridge has increased by 70 percent since 2002. Cambridge has the second highest percentage of non-automobile commuters in the country with 56 percent of their residents using an alternative to driving to work.
To search the Best Walking Cities Database please visit: http://www.prevention.com/bestcities/ Somerville, MA: Shape Up Somerville: Eat Smart. Play Hard. The City of Somerville (population: 74,554) developed a city-wide campaign—Shape Up Somerville—to increase daily physical activity and healthy eating through programming, physical infrastructure improvements, and policy work The campaign targets the entire Somerville community, including schools, city government, civic organizations, community groups and businesses. Shape Up Somerville began as a community-based research study at Tufts University targeting students in the Somerville Public Schools. Today, Shape Up Somerville has a coordinator that works on the active and healthy living programs supported by the Health Department and a taskforce—a collaboration of more than 11 initiatives and 25 stakeholders who work on various interventions across the city. To learn more about Shape Up Somerville please visit: http://www.somervillema.gov/Division.cfm?orgunit=SUS
4.) Other Resources: Evaluation and Sustainability
The Prevention Institute: Collaboration Math Collaboration Math is a tool to help organizations from diverse disciplines, or representing different constituencies, work together effectively. Collaboration Math is a practical way to highlight key similarities and differences between collaboration members. The tool is meant to help members better value each other’s perspectives, to appreciate each contributor’s strengths, and to assess opportunities for improvement. The tool is a great way to eliminate possible misconceptions about what an organization is able to do and what they are expecting from their partners. It can be used to evaluate what partners are missing from the collaboration as well as to appreciate the benefit of the collaborative as it is. Collaboration Math requires that each organization in the collaborative provide information based on a set of specific categories (varying based on the collaboration’s goals and needs). The responses are then addressed through a facilitated discussion and the calculation of the collaboration “math.” Cities and schools that are working to engage diverse stakeholders and create coordinating bodies to implement community wellness policies could use this tool during the process of assembling these groups, or to evaluate them once assembled. It could also be a useful tool for considering the best ways to work together moving forward, as well as for strengthening partnerships, filling gaps and proving a solid framework for sustainability. To learn more about Collaboration Math please visit: http://www.preventioninstitute.org/collmath.html To read a detailed example and learn about the best ways to implement Collaboration Math, please read: “COLLABORATION MATH: Enhancing the Effectiveness of Multidisciplinary Collaboration” by visiting: http://www.preventioninstitute.org/pdf/collab_math_1S_021904.pdf Active Living Research Active Living Research (ALR) works to support research identifying environmental factors and policies that influence physical activity. The Active Living Research Web site has several tools, resources and measures that cities and schools can use to implement local wellness policies. Walkability measurement instruments, community-wide audit tools and the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey are just a few of the many options available on the site. When cities and schools evaluate their community wellness policies and programs, this site is a great place to learn about what best practice research is available, how to connect it to policy, and how to evaluate the work in their community. A national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that the San Diego State University Research Foundation administers, it is focused on reversing the rise of childhood obesity. Their research focuses on active living related to youth in low-income and high-risk communities. Findings from this research will be used to help inform policy, design the built environment and contribute to other factors that promote active living. To review Active Living Research’s resources, tools, and measures please visit: http://www.activelivingresearch.org/
5.) NLC & AASA Updates
Now available from AASA! Bui w ilding Success, Leading Chan nge: Stories of Healthy Schoo f ol Environments – Th publication highlights the accomplishme of Charlott Mecklenburg his ents te g (N.C School Distr and Milwa C.) rict aukee (Wis.) Pu ublic Schools, members of th AASA Urba he an Heal lthy Schools Co oalition. These districts share their successe of using sup e e es perintendent leade ership and collaboration to cr reate environm ments conducive to learning. T publication e This n inclu udes a CD-Rom with forms, a m action plans, ch hecklists and other useful resources school distri can tailor f their own u Contact Mseidou@aasa.o for a free copy. icts for use. org
New Thomas M. M w Menino Fellow Joins Nation League of Cities w nal NLC’s Institute for Yout Education a Families w th, and welcomes Ange Rosales as t 2008-2009 Thomas M. M ela the Menino Angela will join the youth dev n velopment divi ision team at th institute and will provide c he d coordinating su upport Fellow. A to the yout sessions at NLC conferen th nces over the n next year. In a addition, she w support a r will range of other youth developme projects inc ent cluding the chil ldhood obesity program area. Angela hails from San Fran y ncisco, where she has worked in the education and mental h n health fields an served as a member of th Young Adu Team for th San nd he ult he Francisco Mayor’s Transitional Youth Task Force. A h Angela succee Tiffany Mitchell, who w begin a tea eds will aching fellowship in Washington DC, while p n, pursuing a Mas sters Certificate in education at American U e University. We elcome Angela, an thank you, Tiffany, for you year of servi nd T ur ice! Share you successes wi AASA! ur ith Have you i implemented a change in you school or dis ur strict on a healt topic? Share your story wi AASA! Ideally, th e ith the story w would include buy-in support or active partic b cipation by the superintenden Learn more by visiting e nt. http://www w.aasa.org/focu us/content.cfm? ?ItemNumber= =9435 and subm your story today. For more information mit n, contact Rebecca Roberts, project direct at rroberts@ , tor, @aasa.org. of ty w Webcast o National Cit Afterschool Summit Now Available More than 110 mayors, city councilm n members, schoo board presid ol dents, superintendents and other city and s school leaders con nvened in Washington, D.C., last month at t 2008 Natio City After the onal rschool Summi – an opportun to it nity celebrate a promote lo leadership in building ci and ocal p itywide system of high-quality, out-of-sch ms hool time prog grams. This two-d learning an networking opportunity fo day nd ocused on the d development of citywide afte erschool system that ms promote community lea arning, the retu on investm urn ment in afterschool program and the im ms, mpact of afters school on y. nstitute has pa artnered with T Worldwide to provide a w TV webcast record ding of activities o public safety The YEF In several of the Summit sessions for m s municipal offici ials who were unable to att e tend. To view the Webcast visit w ts www.nlctv v.org or to read about the Sum d mmit, visit www w.nlc.org/artic cles
6.) Other Updates r
Connect w Other Pro with ograms at the Safe Routes F Forums The Nation Center for Safe Routes to School has lau nal S unched the Saf Routes Forum a Web-bas community fe ms, sed y designed to connect Safe Routes to Sch o hool programs f from across the country. Usin the Safe Ro e ng outes Forums, programs c announce their successes as well as seek out informati from other local program Users can fi can t k ion ms. ind out what others have don to launch the programs or who they par ne eir r rtnered with to promote walki and bicycli ing ing. To learn m more or to register, please visi www.saferou it utesinfo.org/for rums. You can also read thro n ough the Frequ uently Asked Que estions on how to get started by visiting ww w ww.saferoutesi info.org/forums/faq.cfm.
National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education, and Families
For more information about the Municipal Network for Combating Obesity (MNCO), contact: Leon T. Andrews, Jr., Program Director, at 202/626-3039, email@example.com Megan Martin, Program Associate, at 202/626-3035, firstname.lastname@example.org
American Association of School Administrators
For more information, contact: Rebecca Roberts, Project Director, at 678-691-2027, email@example.com
Support for this newsletter is provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as part of its Leadership for Healthy Communities national program.