An Equity Approach to Adapting B'N Fit Afterschool Wellness Programming as Virtual Interactive Programming
Grant Status: Active
Training Category: Healthy Tomorrows
Jessica Rieder, MD, MS
Montefiore Health Systems
Pediatric obesity prevalence rates are highest among adolescents and non-Hispanic blacks and in low income youth. Effective weight management programs require intense in-person engagement and retention efforts with minority inner-city adolescents. The COVID-19 pandemic forced adoption of virtual strategies that have exacerbated the many financial, familial, social and logistical barriers faced by these adolescents, which further threatens low engagement and high attrition rates.
Goals and Objectives:
To promote equity through expanded youth access to culturally responsive virtual after-school wellness programming. Objectives: 1) Translate Evidence-Based in-Person Afterschool Wellness programing to a Virtual Environment; 2) Develop a Network Approach for Sharing Virtual Afterschool Wellness Program Activities; and 3) Adapt existing evaluation strategy to determine B'N FIT VIP impact on equitable opportunities to access healthy lifestyle activities.
The B'N Fit Virtual Interactive Program (VIP) will provide access for up to 500 6-8th grade students annually to healthy lifestyle activities through integration of virtual school-wide afterschool programming and family wellness activities with existing in-person programming. The project is built on longstanding collaborative relationships among four strong primary partner organizations: 1) a New York City public K-8 school and it's School Wellness Council which provides project implementation support and oversight; 2) Mosholu Montefiore Community Center (MMCC), a community-based social service organization which provides virtual afterschool healthy lifestyle programming to complement existing in-person programming; 3) Wellness in the Schools (WITS), a national non-profit which provides virtual nutrition education and healthy scratch-cooked meals demonstrations; and 4) the Montefiore Health System, a large regional health network which provides clinical services, project management, and research infrastructure. Grounded in evidence based practices to promote acquisition of seven target behaviors, B'N Fit VIP will compliment and reinforce in-person afterschool wellness programming by adapting existing in-person afterschool daily physical activity, weekly nutrition and onsite cooking programming, and family wellness activities to a virtual platform. We will: 1) develop, test, and refine Virtual Program Activities Implementation List (PAIL) Toolkits for virtual activities; 2) expand access to virtual programming to other afterschool program sites; and 3) adapt existing program data collection for the virtual activities and assess additive impact of virtual programming.
Activities and evaluation will be coordinated between the four partners and leverage existing school and partner structures and strengths.
We use the Wellness Cascade to evaluate student attainment of step milestones related to at assessment, program enrollment, engagement, and completion, and attainment of desired target behavior outcomes. Changes from program initiation to completion will be compared. Process indicator measures will be evaluated.