Ann Arbor, Michigan
The University of Michigan Health System’s (UMHS) Cardiovascular Center, M-Fit Promotion Division, and Mott Children’s Hospital are working together with Ann Arbor Public Schools, the University of Michigan School of Public Health, the Washtenaw County Health Department, and several community leaders and businesses to offer We Can!™ programming to youths and parents in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Operating primarily as an in-school programming vehicle, this coalition of community organizations is implementing CATCH Kids Club, Media-Smart Youth, and the Parent Curriculum.
Key Site Successes
Ann Arbor got its community involved with We Can! The site participated in five community events that attracted more than 2,500 community members, generated media coverage within the university, and fostered partnerships with a variety of organizations in the community.
The events included:
We Can! was featured in the University of Michigan Bulletin which was distributed to 20,000 UMHS employees to inform them about the We Can! Parent Curriculum courses. In addition, children attending two elementary schools took home class flyers to their parents about CATCH, and children from several other elementary schools took home flyers about the We Can! Parent Curriculum class. Information about the Parent Curriculum course was included in the Ann Arbor Public Schools, Recreation and Education winter catalog that is distributed to all households with a school-age child.
Seven partners provided support, materials, and expertise to Ann Arbor during the past year of We Can! program implementation. These included:
We Can! Energize Our Families: Curriculum for Parents and Caregivers
Michigan implemented the Parent Curriculum to six mothers at a health education resource center. The group met for three weekly sessions and completed two lessons in each session. To condense the program, the facilitators combined the discussion periods to consolidate time.
The mothers reported enjoying the materials, brochures, and handbooks as well as the snacks, such as yogurt parfaits, added to some sessions. Michigan found advertising in pediatricians’ offices helped them to recruit participants.
Analysis of two complete respondent surveys did not show any statistically significant effects. However, scores on measures of energy balance knowledge, portion size knowledge and attitudes, healthy eating behaviors, and healthy food behaviors suggested positive movement toward We Can! objectives.
“Once they got into it, they really enjoyed it!” - Course Facilitator
CATCH Kids Club
The CATCH Kids Club Curriculum was designed for children in grades K–5 in afterschool or summer-care settings to help children adopt healthier dietary and physical activity behaviors by positively influencing the health environments of recreation programs, schools, and homes.
The Ann Arbor site reached 31 children through three afterschool implementations at Lakewood Elementary School, Pittsfield Elementary School, and Ann Arbor Open School. Each school implemented CATCH three days a week for 45-60 minutes each session.
An analysis of 18 respondent surveys found statistically significant increases in healthy eating behaviors: eating fruits and vegetables. CATCH participants’ intention to drink skim or low-fat milk instead of regular milk improved. They also ate more fruits and vegetables. Although not statistically significant, scores on four measures (food attitudes: self efficacy and intentions to drink skim milk; healthy eating behaviors: reducing fat; and physical activity attitudes) suggested positive movement toward We Can! objectives.
Project Healthy Schools: A Community-University Collaborative
2850 South Industrial
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104-7100
We Can! and the We Can! logo are trademarks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).