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Idaho

Students Use PhotoVoice to Document Nutrition and Physical Activity Gaps

Students in Idaho are showing the need for improved nutrition and physical activity and taking part in changes to improve health.

 

Group of young photography students with teacher during outdoor photo course

PhotoVoice, a process using photos and videos to document needs in one’s environment, has become a popular tool for engaging district staff and students in Idaho. This platform showcases video and audio presentations geared toward social change. Several school districts have used the Photovoice Project to raise grassroots support and get buy-in for wellness policies and healthy school environments.

Impact

Students in Idaho’s Sugar-Salem School District create awareness and advocate for wellness programs through digital storytelling methods using PhotoVoice. In 2016, middle school students in this district received pedometers, and in exchange they were asked to develop PhotoVoice presentations of their participation in a 1 million step challenge.

In 2015 in Blackfoot School District, high school students saw a need for change in their nutrition environment, so they started a Photovoice project to remodel the school cafeteria. With the help of school staff and community volunteers, the students renovated the cafeteria during winter break.

In another project, Caldwell School District fifth-grade students videotaped students being physically active and answering the question, “What do you think it means to be healthy?” With the help of a wellness champion, students prepared a video presentation for a school wellness assembly and later for a school board meeting. Students were shown praising the positives of their nutrition and physical education programs and describing their needs for a healthier school environment.

According to wellness champions, students are realizing the benefits of more physical activity and better nutrition, and these factors have led to improved social behavior and academic standings.

This program was supported by CDC’s State Public Health Actions to Prevent and Control Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity, and Associated Risk Factors and Promote School Health cooperative agreement (DP13-1305).
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