Choose Health: Food, Fun, and Fitness (CHFFF) and Choose Health Action Teens (CHAT) Health & Fitness Project

Worksite Location
Project Dates
May 15 - August 4, 2018 (flexible based on student's academic schedule)
Faculty Sponsor
Wendy Wolfe
Field Mentors/Supervisors
Jackie Davis-Manigaulte, Carol Parker, Lucinda Randolph-Benjamin
Stipend Amount
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

The Family & Youth Development and Nutrition & Health program areas of Cornell University Cooperative Extension – New York City (CUCE-NYC) are collaborating on implementation of a United Health Care Food Smart Families initiative from 2017-2019 that will engage 650 New York City youth per year in dynamic nutrition and fitness activities designed to promote healthy eating habits and physical activity among youth and adolescents.  CUCE-NYC will utilize the Choose Health: Food, Fun and Fitness (CHFFF) curriculum and the Choose Health Action Teens (CHAT) program developed by Dr. Wendy Wolfe as the primary resources for providing a high quality, sequential, engaging and positive youth development nutrition education experience for the youth participants.  In addition, with the support of a Smith Lever grant from 2017 – 2020 we will update and enhance the CHAT program.  The CHFFF curriculum is aimed at 8-12 year olds and promotes behaviors research shows to be most important for preventing childhood obesity and chronic disease. The CHAT program trains teens to co-teach the CHFFF lessons to elementary school aged youth.  For the Food Smart Families project, the CHFFF sessions will be presented to youth by EFNEP community nutrition educators or CHAT teen leadership teams.  There are 6 sessions designed to promote positive habits related to consumption of fruits and vegetables, healthy snacks, sugary drinks, water, and whole grains; as well as food choices when eating out, physical activity, screen time and food safety.   CHFFF pre/post surveys for youth participants, CHAT retrospective-pre surveys for teen  leaders, and the 4-H Common Measures post survey for both youth and teens will be administered to evaluate program impact.   Intended outcomes are: • Increase the awareness and behaviors of youth and teens in New York City related to healthy eating and physical activity • Enhance the healthy eating, fitness practices and leadership skills of CHAT teen leaders  • Revise the CHAT Facilitator Guide to reflect recent updates to the CHFFF curriculum and to incorporate other updates as needed based on conducting CHAT in this initiative    

Roles and Responsibilities

The student intern will provide ongoing support for implementation of the 4-H Food Smart Families Initiative to community nutrition educators and CHAT teen leaders, including helping to train teens to teach CHFFF.  This person will also support the teens and educators with family engagement and community outreach events in the areas where the sessions are being implemented.  The intern will help with coordination of data collection of the CHFFF, CHAT and 4-H Common Measure evaluation surveys and data submission.  The intern will help make revisions to the CHAT Facilitator Guide, to ensure that the content is aligned with recent changes made to the CHFFF curriculum and to incorporate other recommendations based on implementing CHAT.  The intern may also conduct focus groups with teen leaders to gain insight regarding the impact of the program on their knowledge, skills and behaviors related to healthy eating, physical fitness and leadership.  Finally, the intern will assist in development of program reports related to this initiative.

Qualifications and Previous Coursework

The ideal candidate should have prior experience working with families and/or youth, ideally in urban settings. Beginning level coursework in nutrition, community health, family and youth development, and/or research and evaluation is strongly desired.

Benefits and Skills

Through this engaged learning experience, the intern will develop an understanding of the realities of implementation and evaluation of community based nutrition and positive youth development programs in a large urban setting, as well as curriculum development,  and family and community engagement/ outreach.