July 10, 2019

This school year, teens at John Swett High School in Crockett, California took new steps to promote healthy hydration.  Recognizing the need to motivate their peers to hydrate with water—not unhealthy sugary drinks—at school, the students produced teen-designed signage and an engaging messaging campaign.

Eli Figueroa, a project coordinator at CalFresh Healthy Living, University of California, guided the students through their youth-led campaign’s development process. The teens then created weekly messages and produced video clips that their peers viewed during their second period class over the course of two months. The video clips highlighted the group’s message of the week, encouraging students to “Choose Smarter - Drink Water!”

To evaluate the effectiveness of their campaign, the teens designed and administered a student survey pre- and post-campaign. After two months, 52 percent of the students reported that they drank more water. Why? The students confirmed that they were r...

April 24, 2018

Motivated by their success in promoting and advocating for healthy hydration at John Swett High School, teens developed tip sheets for implementing similiar youth-led participatory action research (YPAR) projects.

The tip sheets provide framework for starting YPAR projects and guidance on the following topics:

  • getting started

  • training for success

  • YPAR methods

  • YPAR implementation

  • peer education

  • advocacy

The teens worked with University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Contra Costa 4-H and nutrition units to develop the tip sheets. Special thanks to Marisa Neelon, MS, RD, Nutrition, Family, & Consumer Sciences Advisor and Charles G. Go, PhD, 4-H Youth Development Advisor for writing this post.

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