Our Impact

WATCH was designed to improve the health and quality of life for children ages 3 to 5 years living in American Indian communities and focused on health, wellness, and community. Our program provided resources to our 3Ps: Parents, Preschool teachers, and Providers at clinics. The resources we offer provide education on healthy eating practices as well as physical activity that will lower children’s risk of obesity and other long-term diseases. WATCH created consistent healthy messaging for American Indian children in our communities and helped build a bridge in communication by implementing the OrganWise Guys curriculum at ECE’s and in Tribal pediatric clinics. WATCH was a program collaboration of the Southern Plains Tribal Health Board, Oklahoma Tribal Epidemiology Center, and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. WATCH was funded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Tribal Epidemiology Center Public Health Infrastructure (TECPHI) grant.

OUR GOALS FOR WATCH:

To develop, implement and evaluate a culturally relevant, multi-stakeholder intervention for tribal early childcare, education programs and tribal clinics to:

  • Create healthy spaces for young children to learn and grow
  • Increase communication and relationships with our 3 Ps: Parents, Preschool teachers, and Providers at the Clinics
  • Reduce BMI of preschool children
  • Increase healthy behaviors of families

SPECIFIC AIMS:

  1. Develop a culturally relevant, multi-stakeholder program with tribal clinics and Early Care and Education (ECE) to improve obesity prevention behaviors in American Indian preschool children in the Wyandotte Nation and Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma and Cheyenne and Arapaho communities.
  2. Evaluate the feasibility and ability to implement this culturally relevant, multi-stakeholder program with tribal clinics and ECEs.

WATCH provides resources and materials to improve health for each of our stakeholders by allowing the tribal community to pick their areas of focus:

PRESCHOOL TEACHERS receive the OrganWise Guys® (OWG) curriculum, lesson plans, Foods of the Month education from the OWG curriculum, and training on responsive feeding. Each center will receive best practice menu modification recommendations.

PROVIDERS in the CLINICS receive OWG education materials to display in the waiting room, OWG videos to play in the waiting area, OWG patient education and health trackers. Additionally, training topics covered by Dr. Ashley Weedn, MD, MPH, FAAP, an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center include obesity sensitivity, clinic efficiency, and motivational interviewing.

PARENTS are encouraged to participate in Family WATCH nights that utilize the National Institutes of Health’s EatPlayGrow™ curriculum. A parent toolkit was developed for the purpose of increasing nutrition and physical activity in the family home.

WATCH has many components and resources for our stakeholders, they have the option to select and modify the components available to them and implement based on the wants and needs of their community.

Year 1: 2018

  • September 2018- May 2019, we partnered with Wyandotte Nation, Eastern Shawnee, and Bearskin Clinic in Northeastern Oklahoma. This year we utilized the OWG curriculum in the ECEs during the 16-week Spring semester and provided the clinic with materials to display and play an OWG video in their waiting room. We learned to effective communication varies with tribal leadership and being responsive and flexible to the individual community needs are more important. Currently, the Eastern Shawnee Learning Center is still utilizing the curriculum and materials provided from WATCH.

Year 2: 2019

  • October 2019-April 2020, WATCH expanded into the Cheyenne and Arapaho community in western Oklahoma. With this expansion the program implemented in multiple head starts, multiple clinics, and saw increased parent engagement. Learning from year 1, Teachers were given a modified curriculum with 8 lessons over 16 weeks, providers were given materials for all 3 clinics, and our staff developed and presented family WATCH nights for parents at the Concho and Canton Head Starts. COVID-19 restrictions created barriers and limited community engagement, but midway through implementation the program was able to provide two WATCH nights in which teachers stated enjoying the curriculum that was given. In addition, WATCH provided 138 take home Parent toolkits to help families remain physically active and gave insight on healthy nutrition practices.

Year 3: 2020

  • Due to COVID-19 all programmatic events had to be put on hold until WATCH was able to go back into the community.

Year 4: 2021

  • October 2020 – September 2021, during this time, WATCH staff focused heavily on completing internal evaluation measures and improving data collection methods. Many documents were created to help with a smoother implementation process. WATCH staff reacquainted themselves within the Cheyenne and Arapaho communities and began community capacity building for a new menu implementation. This consisted of surveys and interviews conducted with the head starts and child development center directors as well as food preparation personnel to help gauge their level of capacity to integrate a Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) compliant menu.

Year 5: 2022

  • October 2021 – September 2022, WATCH began menu implementation and provided a CACFP compliant menu, shopping list, and recipe book for every month. The program began conversations with the Kiowa and Comanche tribes to start the WATCH program in their communities. As the last programmatic year of WATCH, staff began working towards making all components of the program sustainable and accessible to stakeholders. WATCH plans to heavily utilize the website as a resource hub for all programmatic resources. Furthermore, all components on the website will be made available to download or per request. These resources include: 12 months of CACFP compliant menus, recipe books and shopping lists, Four comprehensive family health night packets for teachers and directors, Training modules and videos catering to teachers and directors for menu development, Responsive feeding modules, OrganWise Guys implementation videos, a Picky eater guide for parents, and many more resources!

 

Manual of Procedure:

Our Manual of Procedures (MOP) is a handbook that guides the Wellness Around Traditional Community Health (WATCH) program’s conduct and operations. It acts as the program protocol by detailing the program organization, operational data definitions, recruitment, screening, enrollment, intervention, follow-up procedures, data collection methods, data flow, and quality control measures. The purpose of the MOP is to facilitate consistency in program implementation and data collection across participants and community partner sites. Procedures in the MOP should be followed with the same degree of rigor as those documented in the protocol.

Community Capacity tools:

The community capacity tool is used prior to implementation to gauge readiness among our community partners. For food prep personnel, it is intended to develop a best practice menu before the first day of school. For teachers this is intended to gather information about physical activity lesson plans, establish or continue cultural and traditional practices related to nutrition and physical activity, and learn about community engagement of parents and healthcare providers within their respective community. For providers it is intended to collect information about current cultural practices within their healthcare setting, community outreach, and current physical activity and nutrition information or resources provided to parents. The interviews for each partner are a follow-up to the community capacity survey and provide time for them to give in-depth feedback.

Community Capacity Tools – Teachers & Directors

Community Capacity Tools – Food Prep Personnel 

Menu feedback form 

The menu feedback form is to gain insight from the food prep personnel about utilizing the best practice menus. With this feedback WATCH staff can provide technical assistance and address the topics within the form. This can include troubleshooting about what snacks and meals concern them, what menu items they are enthusiastic about, and how well it is being received by children. This form initiates communication and establishes a regular monthly check-in about best practice menu principles.

Family Health Nights 

The WATCH family nights are interactive nights planned throughout the semester which are coordinated with already established ECE parent teacher nights. Each night is designed to promote the NIH’s Eat, Play, Grow Components from the Organwise Guys curriculum are utilized when planning each event. One night is dedicated to a specific theme which can be physical activity, nutrition, or a food demonstration. The duration of each night depends on the established agenda and can vary due to planned activities and housekeeping.

Nutrition

Lesson Plan

Parent packet

Physical Activity

Lesson Plan

Parent packet

Chef Demonstration

Lesson Plan

Parent packet

Safety in the Kitchen

Lesson Plan

Parent packet

Responsive Feeding Training

Dr. Dipti Dev, Child Health Behavior Specialist from the University of Nebraska –Lincoln, leads our teachers through a module of the Ecological Approach To (EAT) Family Style Dining while feeding children at ECEs and Head Starts within the WATCH communities. She uses responsive feeding best practice and strategies for the ECE teachers and staff to use during mealtimes with the children. Trainings typically last 45 minutes each.

 

OrganWise Guys

The Organwise Guys curriculum was selected to be a component of WATCH because of its best practice in preventing childhood obesity. The eight lessons and videos that each classroom receives aligns with the Oklahoma Core Competencies, Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Reaching for the Stars criteria, Child Development Associate (CDA) content, and Early Learning Guidelines. These areas highlight the importance for early childhood development and each lesson promotes the enhancement of healthy nutrition and physical activity within each learning center.

 

Menu Development Resources

Best practice for menu modifications is initiated with the results from the community capacity survey for food prep personnel to gauge readiness. From these results, staff can use the survey to prepare for the interview to learn more about feasible implementation of menu modifications. During the interview, a review of the current menu will look at what foods have been successful, favored recipes, and identify what menu items to keep or modify. This is followed by menu analysis conducted by the WATCH programmatic assistant following the CACFP guidelines to create a new menu. The menu below is CACFP compliant and was used during implementation in the Cheyenne and Arapaho communities.

Best Practice Menu Training Video

Full 12-month Menu and Recipes

12 Month Menu Guides

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Traditional Foods Resource Guide 

Recipes

 

 

 

Nutrition Parent Packet

Physical Activity Parent Packet

Chef demonstration Parent Packet

Safety in the kitchen Parent Packet

Picky Eater Guide

Nutrition Calendar

Physical Activity Calendar

WATCH Parent’s Guide + EPG