E. McDonnell, MS, RD, LDN*; C. Probart, PhD, RD*; J. E. Weirich, M Ed*; C. Orlofsky, BA*; P. Birkenshaw, MA**; V. Fekete, MS, RD, LDN**
Purpose: The purpose of this project was to develop a tool to provide information and motivation related to development of school wellness policies.
Target Market: The target market includes school personnel and community members who may potentially be involved in development and implementation of wellness policies.
Methods: A project was undertaken to support schools in the development of wellness policies and to develop an educational tool to provide information about development and implementation of local wellness policies. This project was done through Project PA, a collaboration between the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Food and Nutrition, and Penn State University. Through a competitive grant process, seven schools were awarded mini-grants to develop a team, assess their school nutrition environments, target areas for improvement, implement activities to improve their school nutrition environments, develop a nutrition policy, and present that policy to an administrative body for review. Each of the seven schools was successful in developing a policy, presenting it to an administrative body, and having their policy approved. Project PA documented the processes and activities in these schools in video format. A concept was developed for the video which involved a fictional dramatization of a school foodservice director presenting a wellness policy to a school board and reflecting back on the policy-development process which was based on USDA’s recommended steps for developing a local wellness policy. Footage from the mini-grant schools’ activities was used within the video as examples of activities to support local wellness policies. The resulting 15-minute video is entitled, “Creating School Wellness Policies.”
Application: This video can be used as a training tool to provide awareness and education for school personnel and community members about the local wellness policy requirement.