You Asked, We Answered
Do you have questions about We Can!®? Here you will find answers to commonly-asked questions from community sites that run We Can! programming and promote eating right, increasing physical activity, and reducing screen time to stay at a healthy weight. These questions and answers are featured each season in the We Can! in Action eNewsletter.
Q: How can I share information about childhood obesity with parents, children, and the community outside of our site's existing We Can! programming and events?
A: We're happy to hear you want to share more information about childhood obesity with those in your community. The first step is to consider other channels of communication your community site has—perhaps a website, newsletter, or social media account? Once you've determined the best ways to reach your audience, make sure the content is relevant and interesting. For websites and newsletters, we offer community news features—articles that highlight weight management, healthy eating and nutrition, physical activity and exercise, and screen time—available for use on our website. With both season-specific features and year-round articles, this is a great way to incorporate topics and messages you're already teaching in We Can! programs. Many of these community news features are also available with both Spanish-language translation and cultural adaptation.
Our most recent community news features include:
- How to Tell If Your Child Is At A Healthy Weight (198 KB) (also available in Spanish (123 KB))
- Healthy Eating on the Go (526 KB) (also available in Spanish (136 KB))
- Healthy, Tasty Desserts (170 KB) (also available in Spanish (175 KB))
Q: Many of the families who attend our site's We Can! programming are primarily Spanish speakers or bilingual. We use some Spanish-language We Can! materials, but where can I find more?
A: You're not alone—many of our community sites provide feedback on our materials. And we took their advice to focus primarily on making English-language tip sheets easier for parents at all reading levels to understand. In doing this, we also selected certain tip sheets to translate into the Spanish language, incorporating a new, engaging layout along with cultural adaptations.
Q: Does the NHLBI have any suggestions on scheduling We Can! parent programming to best fit parents' hectic schedules now that school is back in session and the holidays are around the corner?
A: Choosing a schedule that works best for you and your participants can be tricky, especially with school activities and the holidays fast approaching. Try to find out if potential participants have regular school, community, or family commitments at a particular day or at a specific time. For example, if your community center has youth sports practice at certain times and you know that parents will be there then, consider scheduling the program during those times. Note that while the holidays might not be the best time to schedule your programming, parents may still be receptive to receiving tips on healthy recipe substitutions (and healthy cooking in general) before the holidays start. For some substitution tips, see the reverse side of our "cooking smarter" tip sheet (125 KB).
Q: With the school year well underway, does We Can! have any new materials that are easy to hand out at a community health fair or PTO/PTA event?
A: We have recently developed new, easy-to-use Parent Tip Sheets that you can download online from the Tools and Resources section of the website. These materials are great to share at community events and distribute at school functions like parent teacher nights and booster club meetings. In addition, if your community site is a school, or if you work with a school in your area, look at the new We Can! program, Family P.E.P. Night (Play More. Eat Right. Power Down.) in collaboration with School Family Media. Sign up online to bring this free and exciting We Can! opportunity to a school near you this year: http://www.ptotoday.com/sfn/family-pep-night.
Q: How can I gather feedback from participants in the We Can! Parent Program?
A: We understand it's important to know what participants think of your Parent Program, so we created a Tell Us What You Think questionnaire (165 KB). This form can be administered by sites or partners to participants in the Parent Program both before and after they have completed the course. In addition to reading online about this useful measurement tool, you can find more information, including the survey itself, on page 79 of the We Can! Energize Our Families: Parent Program – A Leader's Guide.
Q: I have recently taken over the We Can! activities for my organization. Where should I start?
A: That's great! Your organization should have received a complimentary starter kit that included information to help you understand how to launch your activities; useful parent and youth resources; and the We Can! Energize Our Community: Toolkit for Action, which will give you great information about We Can! and how your community can get involved. You can view the toolkit online (5.5 MB).
On the We Can! website you can also review our free resources—ranging from tip sheets to ready-to-use community news articles—and read how other sites are successfully tailoring our program to energize their communities. Also, you can get engaged by becoming a fan of the We Can! Facebook page. After you've reviewed these materials, think about the types of programming you may be able to undertake, resources that will be the most useful to you, local partners to connect with, etc.—contact email@example.com with questions. Don't forget, you can always reach out to your regional liaison, who is available to answer any questions you may have.
Q: I recently received a listserv message from We Can! about hosting an HBO movie screening. Can you tell me more about this?
A: In March, we offered registered community sites and partners the chance to host a screening of HBO's newest documentary series The Weight of the Nation and be one of the first groups to view the films. The Weight of the Nation features case studies, interviews with our nation's leading experts, and individuals and their families dealing with obesity-related issues. The series spotlights the facts and myths of this urgent public health problem and shows how obesity affects the health of the nation and its healthcare system, as well as how citizens, groups, and policymakers are working to make a difference in their communities.
We thought this would be a great opportunity to increase awareness of this critical public health issue in many of our We Can! communities, as well as help you promote your programming and other activities. You can receive a screening kit, by visiting the HBO website at http://theweightofthenation.hbo.com and clicking on the "Take Action/Host a Screening" tab.
You can also catch the four-part series, which debuts Monday, May 14 and Tuesday, May 15, on HBO. An HBO Family segment debuts Wednesday, May 16. The films will stream on HBO.com for free, and may be provided for free by some television carriers.
Q: I would like to recruit new participants for my Parent Program and think it might be helpful to focus on individuals who may be struggling financially to provide healthy food for their families. Do you have any data about the income disparity in my state?
A: Our regional liaisons have added a new feature to our community site database that enables them to help you find out more about the audiences and potential collaborators in your local area. We can now provide you with trends in ethnic and racial diversity, income median figures, age disparity, and many other useful data sets mapped by county, city, or state. If you have questions about demographic trends in your area, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.