Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Community Grants in Increasing Physical Activity among Youth
This project will contribute to the development of solutions for increasing physical activity in adolescent populations through the identification of effective interventions that are implementable via state/local partnerships. More importantly, this project will identify characteristics of community partnerships that directly affect project fidelity and impact.
For about 10 years, the NC Division of Public Health (DPH) and the CDC have provided funding for community grants ($20,000 or less), awarded to local health departments to fund projects promoting healthy eating and physical activity. This program, The Eat Smart, Move More (ESMM) Community Grants Program, has been facilitated by staff at the DPH's Physical Activity and Nutrition (PAN) Branch. In 2009, the PAN Branch partnered with East Carolina University and received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJ) to evaluate the effectiveness of the ESMM Community Grants.
For the purposes of evaluating the program, all ESMM Community Grants projects funded for 2010-2012 will be required to focus on increasing physical activity in youth ages 9-14 yrs. The primary research objectives are:
- Determine the impact of the grantees' programs on the physical activity of their target populations
- Identify potential mediators & moderators of program efficacy related to characteristics of the grantees & their target populations
Twenty NC counties have been selected to receive ESMM Community Grants, 10 each in the 2010-2011 and the 2011-2012 funding cycles. Grantees for 2010-2011 are: Ashe, Beaufort, Buncombe, Clay, Cleveland, New Hanover, Orange, Stokes, Surry, Yadkin. Grantees for 2011-2012 are: Alleghany, Burke, Chatham, Currituck, Gaston, Guilford, Henderson, Montgomery, Pitt, Sampson. Each of these counties has outlined a grant-funded project that targets youth physical activity.
In order to evaluate the effectiveness of these grant-funded projects, the project team plans to:
- Administer a self-report questionnaire to 150+ youth at each of the sites at three data collection points
- Collect 7 days of accelerometer data from 75-100 youth at each of the sites at three data collection points
- Assess the skills/growth of county-level project coordinators through administration of a pre/post self-assessment tool and one key informant interview
- Assess the strength of the county-level partnership associated with the grant project through administration of a partnership self-assessment tool (pre) and a partnership satisfaction survey (post)
The findings from this study will help inform the continued efforts to increase physical activity behaviors and reduce the incidence of obesity and lifestyle disease among at-risk populations.