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Engaging Stakeholders From Volunteer-Led Out-of-School Time Programs in the Dissemination of Guiding Principles for Healthy Snacking and Physical Activity
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  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
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    Background Little effort has focused on the role of volunteer-led out-of-school time (OST) programs (ie, enrichment and sports programs) as key environments for the promotion of healthy eating and physical activity habits among school-aged children. The Healthy Kids Out of School (HKOS) initiative developed evidence-based, practical guiding principles for healthy snacks, beverages, and physical activity. The goal of this case study was to describe the methods used to engage regional partners to understand how successful implementation and dissemination of these principles could be accomplished. Community Context HKOS partnered with volunteer-led programs from 5 OST organizations in Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire to create a regional “learning laboratory.” Methods We engaged partners in phases. In the first phase, we conducted focus groups with local volunteer program leaders; during the second phase, we held roundtable meetings with regional and state program administrators; and in the final phase, we conducted additional outreach to refine and finalize implementation strategies. Outcomes Implementation strategies were developed based on themes and information that emerged. For enrichment programs, strategies included new patch and pin programs that were consistent with the organizations’ infrastructure and usual practices. For sports programs, the main strategy was integration with online trainings for coaches. Interpretation Through the engagement process, we learned that dissemination of the guiding principles in these large and complex OST organizations was best accomplished by using implementation strategies that were customized, integrated, and aligned with goals and usual practices. The lessons learned can benefit future efforts to prevent obesity in complex environments.
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