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FYI Newsletter January 27, 2014

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QUICK SCAN
Creative Aging Festival
TEACCH® 5-Day Classroom Training Program
School-Based Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs Prove Successful
Tip Sheets for Teachers: Practices to Promote School Readiness
Indiana Transition Stories Now on Video!
Library Corner
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UPCOMING

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Creating Aging Festival

In celebration of Older Americans Month, the City of Bloomington Commission on Aging invites the community to celebrate creativity and our aging population through its fourth annual Creative Aging Festival in May 2014. Phil Stafford, Director of the Institute’s Center on Aging and Community is on the planning committee.

The primary objectives of the Creative Aging Festival are to highlight the artistic talents of older adults; promote intergenerational understanding through dialogue, sharing traditions, and storytelling; and increase awareness about the value of creative engagement to adult health and well-being. The Creative Aging Festival program guide features creative aging events and exhibits in May. Printed program guides will be distributed through area arts and aging venues in April. All events submitted by March 1, 2014 will be listed on the City of Bloomington Commission on Aging website. Early submissions will be given priority consideration for inclusion in a printed program guide. Click for more information.

The Commission on Aging serves as a catalyst for improving public awareness of the senior and aging community. We work in collaboration with diverse community members and organizations to build bridges, open dialogue, celebrate accomplishments, encourage programming, and explore issues and concerns of older adults. Our intent is to promote solutions to the problems and challenges and celebrate the contributions of our older citizens.

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TEACCH® 5-Day Classroom Training Program

Thinking about the warmer days of summer? Continue those thoughts and mark your calendars and plan to attend TEACCH®, a 5-Day Classroom Training Program on structured teaching for students on the autism spectrum, June 16-20, 2014, at the Edgewood Early Childhood Center, Ellettsville, IN.  

Research consistently indicates that individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) respond favorably to a structured environment. This workshop will provide participants with an understanding of how and why to implement structured teaching strategies, such as visual schedules, work systems and deliberately designed work materials.

Registration fee for this workshop is $1990.00. Payment is by credit card or purchase order and is limited to 25 participants only.  The program runs from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. each day. Please make your travel plans accordingly. Continental breakfast begins at 8:00 a.m.  Registration fee does not include travel, dinner or accommodations, but lunch and refreshments are provided each day.   
 
TEACCH® is sponsored by the Institute’s Indiana Resource Center for Autism in collaboration with Forest Hills Special Education Cooperative. For registration questions, contact Donna Beasley (dbeasley@indiana.edu) or (812) 855-6508. Click to register. For questions pertaining to workshop content, contact Catherine Davies (daviesc@indiana.edu) at (812) 855-6508.

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INDIANA INSTITUTE IN THE NEWS

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School-Based Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs Prove Successful

A study by researchers from Indiana University’s Indiana Institute on Disability and Community and Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea, found that both public and private schools, despite some variability, could successfully implement programs designed to reduce the percentages of overweight children and modify their dietary habits, physical activities and sedentary behaviors.

The rate of childhood obesity has tripled over the past 30 years, and it continues to increase. In 2008, 19.6 percent of children ages 6-11 years and 18.1 percent of adolescents ages 12 to 19 years were obese. Decreasing the prevalence rates of childhood obesity reduces the risk of high cholesterol and blood pressure, lessens several physical and mental health concerns, and diminishes the likelihood of issues related to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke in adulthood.

The HEROES (Healthy, Energetic, Ready, Outstanding, Enthusiastic, Schools) Initiative study, funded through the Welborn Baptist Foundation, is a multilevel and multiple-year childhood obesity prevention intervention program that focuses on alleviating childhood obesity in Southern Indiana, Northwestern Kentucky, and Southeastern Illinois. Those three states have some of the highest obesity rates in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study was predicated upon the CDC’s recommended coordinated school health (CSH) approach and implemented at the school level rather than the more typical district level. This strategy encouraged schools to take ownership over needs assessment, planning and implementation of strategies for school change.

"We have data to suggest that changes in schools' wellness environments are greater when individual schools, rather than entire districts, plan and implement policies and programming based on the needs of their specific students, staff and families," said Mindy Hightower King, principal investigator for the study. "These changes include, but are not limited to, healthier foods available in classrooms, concession stands and fundraisers, as well as opportunities for physical activity outside of dedicated PE classes."

The HEROES Initiative focused on five of eight components of the CSH approach most closely related to the prevention of childhood obesity: health education, physical education, nutrition services, health promotion for staff, and family and community involvement. A supportive infrastructure for participating schools that involved local oversight, funding and prescribed implementation strategies based on schools’ individual needs and identities was also grounded within the initiative’s framework.

Through the fall of 2012, 31 schools had participated in the study, and 13 had completed the three-year funding period. Because the HEROES Initiative evaluation is ongoing, the most recent wave of data collection, from spring 2012, is summarized from 17 participating schools.

HEROES was evaluated through an academic-community partnership using a three-tiered approach of process evaluation and school-level and student-level outcome evaluations. The evaluations addressed key questions related to the coordinated school health framework, how schools change policies and practices, and the extent to which students change their nutrition and physical activity behaviors, and show changes in body mass index.
Findings in the 2013 report include:

Process Evaluation Analysis -- Data collected in the spring 2012 were used to address implementation fidelity of programs across all years of the intervention. For the HEROES Coordination and Administrative Involvement domains, 15 of the 17 schools (88.2 percent) were implementing with fidelity.

School-Level Outcome Evaluation Findings -- Of the five coordinated school health domains, the mean number of indicators for which schools obtained a 2.5 or more was 3.24 with a range of 2 to 5. Generally, schools were able to effectively create changes to the school environment regarding physical education and activity, nutrition education, and family and community involvement.

Student-Level Outcome Evaluation Findings –Student-level outcome data showed small but significant changes in the proportion of overweight students in the first 18 months of the intervention. Positive changes in several nutrition behaviors were also reported. Finally, more students reported engaging in vigorous physical activity following the intervention compared to baseline.

Although many of the findings in this study may appear modest, small change can make an important impact on population-level health outcomes. Despite the challenges that came with implementing a large-scale initiative such as HEROES along with the need for consistent data collation from each evaluation cycle, the findings demonstrated that the HEROES Initiative has been successful in reducing the percentage of overweight children in participating schools and healthfully modifying their dietary, physical activity and sedentary behaviors. Additionally, the study reinforces the notion that school-based programs that include coordinated school health model components have even more potential for success when they are part of a larger scale of interventions that involve other realms of children’s environments such as household, community and media participation.

For more information on this study, contact Mindy Hightower King at (812) 855-6508 or e-mail minking@indiana.edu.

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ACROSS THE COURTYARD

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Tip Sheets for Teachers: Practices to Promote School Readiness

The Institute’s Early Childhood Center has developed a number of tip sheets that address topics that arose during their research into early care and education classrooms in Indiana in the spring and fall of 2013. Topics include:

Choose a Curriculum That Is Effective
How Do Preschool Children Spend Their Time? Implications For Our Practice
Individual Work in Preschool
Talking to Make a Difference: Conversations
Talking to Make a Difference: What Kinds of Questions?
What is a Curriculum?

Click to access these tip sheets and read more about the study.

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Center on Community Living and Careers
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Indiana Transition Stories Now on Video!

The Institute’s Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC), a division of the Center on Community Living and Careers, recently took a camera crew out to interview a few students who were willing to share their transition experiences with the world.

Meet Linzy, Dallas, and Natalie on the INSTRC website. Three students, three different backgrounds, three different paths to life beyond high school. Click to access the transition stories.

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LIBRARY CORNER

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New Library Collection Items

Kessler, Z. (2013). ADHD according to Zoe: The real deal on relationships, finding your focus & finding your keys. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications. 

Lipsky, D. (2013). How people with autism grieve, and how to help: An insider handbook. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Solanto, M. V. (2013). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for adult ADHD: Targeting executive dysfunction. New York: Guilford Press.

These new materials may be borrowed from the Center for Disability Information and Referral (CeDIR) at the Institute. To check out materials, please call the library at 800-437-7924, send us an e-mail at cedir@indiana.edu, or come by and visit us at 1905 North Range Road in Bloomington.

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