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Georgia State Trains Parents to Advocate for Better School Meals, More Exercise

The School of Public Health at Georgia State University will train parents in one of the state’s most populous counties to become ambassadors for child health, helping them to develop the skills needed to advocate for more nutritious foods and increased physical activity in local schools.

The School will receive $150,000 from the DeKalb County Board of Health for the Parent Ambassador project, which will extend into fall 2017. The work will focus on improving the health of children in the public schools in DeKalb County, a metro Atlanta community with more than 100,000 children in the school system.

Dr. Rodney Lyn, an associate professor of health management and policy at Georgia State, is the principal investigator. “The overarching goal is to increase parent engagement in promoting policy, systems, and environmental approaches for school nutrition and physical activity,” Dr. Lyn said.

The school will develop a curriculum and train a group of parents hired by DeKalb Board of Health. Those parents will then train other parents. The work is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the grant program known as REACH, or Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health.

The CDC’s REACH grants funds evidence-based programs to work with communities to reduce health disparities. The 15-year-old effort addresses a variety of health problems including heart disease, diabetes, infant mortality and breast and cervical cancer.

To learn more about Dr. Lyn’s work to address childhood obesity, see:

http://publichealth.gsu.edu/prof-helps-georgias-children-lead-healthier-lives/