Part of the SNAP-Ed Strategies & Interventions Toolkit.*
It is a national education program designed for parents and caregivers to help children ages 8 to 13 years old stay at a healthy weight. We Can! offers parents and families tips and activities to encourage healthy eating, increase physical activity and reduce sedentary or screen time. It also offers community groups and health professionals resources to implement programs and activities for parents and youth nationwide.
NIH conducted outcome and process evaluations of 14 Intensive Community Sites that ran We Can! after 1 year. Initial parent program assessment results indicated improvements in a variety of knowledge, attitude, and behavioral intent measures for parents. Youth participating in We Can! evidence-based curricula also showed similar gains. These 14 communities reached an estimated 77,000 attendees at community events and forged partnerships with over 90 local organizations. Based on this initial assessment, We Can! Community Sites across the country appear motivated and equipped to help NIH prevent childhood overweight and obesity.
* SNAP-Ed Strategies & Interventions: An Obesity Prevention Toolkit for States is a compilation of interventions. The toolkit was developed by USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, The Association of SNAP-Ed Nutrition Education Administrators (ASNNA), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Center for Training and Research Translation (Center TRT), and the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR), a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes for Health (NIH), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the USDA. It is designed and updated to help state SNAP-Ed administrative and implementing agencies identify evidence-based obesity prevention programs and policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) strategies and interventions to include in their SNAP-Ed plans.
We Can! provides materials and resources for both health professionals and parents and caregivers to help promote living a healthy lifestyle. We Can! community resources are divided into four categories: implementation and evaluation, promotion, creating partnerships and additional resources.
There are several curricula available for communities that teach kids about eating right and moving more. The curricula include:
- CATCH Kids Club. a nutrition and physical activity program for elementary school aged kids.
- Media-Smart Youth: Eat, Think, and Be Active! a 10-lesson curriculum that focuses on helping young people ages 11 to 13 understand the connections between media and health.
- Student Media Awareness to Reduce Television (S.M.A.R.T.) a 3rd to 4th grade classroom curriculum designed to motivate children to reduce their television watching and video game usage.
We Can! provides all the materials necessary to start a successful program in any community and free regional training geared for a variety of audiences. For general questions, an interactive list-serve connects current program leaders, allowing them to form their own support system and assists new program leaders. A newsletter keeps program leaders up to date with new program developments.