Online Training - We Can!® Energize Our Families: Parent Program
Chapter 9: Summary and Resources
Welcome to Chapter 9, the last chapter of the We Can!™ Energize Our Families: Parent Program online training.
In this final chapter, we will review the major concepts we covered in the four sessions of the Parent Program, tell you how to access the many exciting We Can! resources available to help you start a Parent Program, explain how you can join the growing We Can! national movement, and show you how to apply for CEUs.
Remember, there are two versions of the Parent Program, one with four 90-minute sessions, and another with six 60-minute sessions. You can use either the four- or six-session version of the Parent Program, depending on which schedule works best for the parents in your community. The content is the same, as is the focus on helping participants make healthy food choices and become more physically active.
This online training is an introduction to the four-session curriculum that is in the Leader’s Guide. Those who are interested in using the six-session curriculum can download it from the website or find it in the We Can! Energize Our Community: Toolkit for Action.
Let’s quickly recap the four sessions of the We Can! Parent Program:
Session 1—We Can! Energize Our Families: Getting Started begins with a pre-program evaluation tool called Tell Us What You Think. The remainder of the session lays the groundwork for the Parent Program. The session describes why overweight and obesity are concerns for adults and children, and engages the group in a discussion of the important role that parents play in helping their children eat well and move more.
Session 2 – Maintain a Healthy Weight: The Energy Balance Equation explores the concept of Energy Balance, the core of the We Can! program. The session explains how both portion size and daily time spent doing physical activity impact the Energy Balance equation. It also introduces the concept of BMI to further help parents understand healthy body weight.
Session 3 —What to Feed My Family: Manage ENERGY IN focuses on the ENERGY IN part of the Energy Balance equation. During this session, parents learn strategies for reducing calorie intake, or ENERGY IN, and receive guidance on choosing and preparing foods that are reduced in fat and added sugar. The session also includes discussions about the Nutrition Facts label and GO, SLOW, and WHOA foods.
The goal is for parents to become more thoughtful about what their families eat, and to learn how to choose a nutritious eating plan so that their families can maintain a healthy weight.
Session 4: Less Sit, More Fit: ENERGY OUT focuses on the second half of the Energy Balance equation, ENERGY OUT. The leader helps parents come up with ways to increase physical activity and find the fun in being active. The session also explores physical inactivity and reduction of screen time in order to manage ENERGY OUT. As this is the last session, there is also a discussion on how to maintain progress after the program has ended. The last activity is Tell Us What You Think Now, the post-program evaluation.
We Can! provides communities and families with a variety of resources and curricula to mobilize around childhood overweight prevention. The materials are designed to guide community leaders interested in offering We Can! programs for parents and youth, and to help parents looking to improve their family's health. These educational materials focus on Energy Balance, proper nutrition, and maintaining a physically active lifestyle.
All of these resource materials are easily accessible online on the We Can! website.
Here is a sampling of some of the resources available online to support you in delivering the Parent Program.
Because We Can! attempts to engage entire families around adopting healthy habits, we developed the We Can! Energize Our Families: A Family Guide. The guide contains all the handouts that you will be using in each of the 4 sessions of the Parent Program, and should be distributed to parents during the program. You should urge the parents in your sessions to take the Family Guide home to share the materials with the entire family. The material is available for free as a downloadable PDF file on the We Can! website, or can be purchased in hard copy form.
Download the Family Guide (PDF - 5.9 MB)
We Can! Energize Our Community: Toolkit for Action is a binder of resource materials that is sent to any group, department, or agency that signs up as a We Can! community site. It offers community leaders a one-stop shop of planning and assessment tools, handouts, and templates to use in developing programming, working with the media, engaging partners, and talking to people. The Toolkit also includes the six-session version of the Parent Program and helpful tip sheets and tools for conducting community events to support the We Can! program.
We Can! online Activity Forms are short and easy-to-complete evaluation tools that help you document and share details of your We Can! programming and events. It’s important to take a moment to complete an online Activity Form and submit it by e-mail each time you finish a Parent Program. This helps community sites satisfy the requirement for reporting activities, and provides valued feedback to NIH and We Can!
Families Finding the Balance: A Parent Handbook is an easy-to-read publication given to participants in Session 1 of the Parent Program. It provides practical tips to help families find the right balance of eating well and being physically active in order to maintain a healthy weight. The handbook reinforces the content in the four-session program, so it is a useful at-home resource between sessions. English and Spanish versions are available.
We Can! Parent Tip Sheets provide practical information to parents on a wide variety of topics such as Energy Balance, healthy meal preparation, and healthy and economical foods and snacks.
To complement the work being done with parents, We Can! offers three youth curricula for communities to use in afterschool or school-based programs with children.
- CATCH Kids Club is a physical activity and nutrition education program for elementary-school-aged children, grades K–5, to be used in afterschool and summer care settings;
- Student Media Awareness to Reduce Television, or S.M.A.R.T., is a 3rd- or 4th-grade classroom curriculum designed to motivate children to reduce their television watching and video game usage; and
- Media-Smart Youth: Eat, Think, and Be Active!® is a 10-lesson curriculum funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, or NICHD, that focuses on helping young people, aged 11-13, understand the connections between media and health.
We Can! Fact Sheets, Brochures, and Posters
These resources provide basic information about We Can! and how families can take action to improve their health by maintaining a healthy weight. They are also a great way to promote We Can! programming in community centers, schools, doctors’ offices, and at community events.
To help you promote your program, We Can! offers a number of materials, including prewritten newspaper articles, sample press releases, print ads, and logos. And, for the most ambitious community sites out there who engage their mayors, city and county signs are available to help bring visibility to local efforts.
For ideas on how to engage the media and get more public visibility for your program, check the We Can! Energize Our Community: Toolkit for Action.
To support community sites in implementing We Can! with Spanish-speaking communities, We Can! offers a number of Spanish-language resources for parents and community leaders. ¡Podemos! or We Can! in Spanish materials are available for free download from the Spanish-language page on the We Can! website or can be ordered in hard copy from NHLBI.
For parents and those working with parents, We Can! offers the Parent Handbook: Families Finding the Balance in Spanish, featuring background information and tips for maintaining a healthy weight.
The Spanish-language Web page also features a collection of additional Spanish-language resources from NIH, such as heart healthy recipes for popular Latino dishes and tips on staying active.
Now that you’ve completed this online introduction to the Parent Program, we hope that you will implement We Can! in your community!
Community sites can join We Can! at the level that best serves their needs. The three levels are:
- General Community Site Level,
- Intensive Community Site Level, and
- We Can! City and County Program.
Read about the specific requirements for each level and decide what’s best for your organization. Signing up is easy using the short online sign-up form. Simply click on the link on your screen to learn about the different programming options and complete the form online.
Call the NHLBI Information Center at 1-866-35WECAN if you have any questions.
If you are interested in becoming a We Can! site, please contact the We Can! staff at NHLBI_WeCanTeam@mail.nih.gov.
The benefits of signing up include:
- A free We Can! Starter Kit containing science-based resources from NIH,
- Technical assistance and training,
- eNewsletters and listserv messages with program updates,
- Teleconferences on We Can! topics of interest,
- National recognition from NIH on the We Can! website, and
- Connection to other We Can! sites around the country.
Registered Dietitians and Health Educators can earn continuing education credits for completing all chapters.
Follow the link to apply for continuing education credits for Registered Dietitians and Health Educators. You will be asked to take a brief quiz and mail it in. Your credit certificate will be sent to you soon.
Congratulations on completing this training! We hope you found this training useful in preparing you to deliver the We Can! Parent Program: a unique curriculum designed especially for reaching parents and primary caregivers to help children maintain a healthy weight and prevent overweight.
Please take a moment now and click on the link on your screen to share your feedback on this training. Your feedback on this presentation is very much appreciated and will help guide the development of future trainings and other We Can! resources.
Again, thank you for completing this training and taking a step closer to bringing We Can! to parents in your community. Remember, any organization, large or small, can participate. And, We Can! is flexible, so you can adapt it to fit your needs. Take this opportunity to build upon the growing concern over childhood overweight and make use of the We Can! program elements to mobilize YOUR community.
Together, We Can! make a difference in the lives of our children!