Webinar: Community Workshop Series (Part 3 of 6)

Uploaded by ODPHP on 09.10.2012

SARAH BURKETT: Thank you, Katrina. As you said, I’m Sarah Burkett with Virginia Cooperative
Extension in Pulaski. I bring you greetings from Virginia. We will talk the next few minutes
about my experiences as one of the pilot sites for the “Eat Healthy, Be Active” Community
Workshops series.
As the slide states, I’m with Virginia Cooperative Extension. I’m housed in Pulaski and provide
educational program in Pulaski in Giles County. This program was taught in Giles County, which
is located in Pearisburg, Virginia, which you can see on your map is located in southwest
Six weekly one-hour workshops were held at Giles High School in the Family and Consumer
Sciences Department with the Family and Consumer Sciences teacher and two community nutrition
students assisting me. I wanted a location with a kitchen to use for food preparation
and was centrally located in the community and convenient for participants.
As you can see from this slide, there were 20 participants. The participants were diverse
in gender, age and educational levels; 17 out of 20 of the participants attended four
or more workshops, which would be 85 percent of the participants.
Incentives were used to encourage participation and to support the concepts and activities
in the workshops. Some examples included food tasting and recipes. Each week, ice water
with fresh fruit was served. Some examples included floating orange, lemon and lime wedges,
doing lemon and fresh raspberries, mint and lemon, and we also used fruit and vegetable
garnishes to make foods attractive and to increase fruit and vegetable consumption.
Prizes were given to promote regular attendance. We had three weekly door prizes given at each
workshop. They were inexpensive items like measuring cups, strainers, vegetable peelers,
water bottles, gravy separators, and other cooking utensils. Bean cookbooks were provided
for all participants, and additional cookbooks were given to participants who attended four
or more workshops.
Incentives were relatively low cost and had a great impact on the participants. I ended
up spending a little over six hundred dollars for all the materials, the cookbooks, food
and door prizes for all six workshops. In addition, I encouraged participation in the
physical activity sessions by playing music to make movement more fun.
Next time I teach this series, I want to include more physical activity incentives such as
resistant bands, exercise DVDs, exercise mats, pedometers, et cetera.
Incentives for participants which promoted participant satisfaction included prizes for
attendance. Participants loved the daily door prizes that I spoke about earlier that we
provided three per session. Participants had the option to select one of two cookbooks
for prizes for regular attendance, and they particularly liked this.
Food tasting and recipes, participants loved the food tasting and would come to the next
session describing new recipes they made at home. They would also arrive early to help
with the food preparation to increase food handling skills and stayed late to help with
clean up.
Comments made by participants included the following: “I love this program. What are
we going to do after this class is over? Now we are just like family.” “My family has
started drinking water with fruit in it like we did in class.” “I learned new ideas
for healthier meals. Put me on the mailing list for other programs you will be teaching.”
A number of these participants have since signed up for other nutrition programs I have
offered. I have also received requests in both Pulaski and Giles counties to replicate
this program because of positive feedback they heard about these workshops from program
participants. I’ve just written two grants to secure funding to offer this program in
both counties in 2013.
Participants shared behavior changes they had made as a result of the workshops. They
experimented with new recipes. They increased physical activity throughout their day. They
ate less processed foods. They consumed more fruits and vegetables. They watched portion
sizes. They drank more water and limited sweetened beverages. And they used nutrition labels
to make food choices.
Participant evaluation shows workshops were effective in promoting behavior changes. As
you can see from this slide, 90 percent of them made changes in their food choices or
their level of physical activity; 95 percent of the community workshops helped them to
make these changes.
As an instructor, I found it to be amazing the amount of content and activities covered
in one hour. Workshops were easy to teach because so much of the normal preparation
for teaching was already completed. In essence, you have a blueprint for each lesson. It was
great to have a lesson already prepared; the course content was easy to follow, each lesson
followed a similar format, course objectives were clearly identified, and in addition there
were excellent activities and handouts were provided for each lesson.
This was a positive learning experience, both for the instructor and for the participants.
Participants loved the handouts, the opportunities to sample food items prepared that were served
at the beginning of each class, and they enjoyed having others in the class to share experience
and to positively reinforce each other.
This program was also a positive experience as an instructor because it helped me attract
new participants I’d not had in my program. This workshop series has been one of the most
positive adult teaching experiences I have had. I hope this webinar will encourage each
of you to teach the “Eat Healthy, Be Active” Community Workshops in your own community.
AMBER MOSHER: All right. Thank you so much Sarah and Katrina both for your fantastic
presentation and for sharing your experiences with us this afternoon. Also thank you to
all the participants who have submitted such good questions throughout the past half hour.
And since we’re looking pretty good on time, we’re actually going to spend some of the
time we have left answering questions.