iGrow Readers is a community-based program with curriculum created by South Dakota State University extension. The curriculum uses children’s books, paired with a nutritious snack and physical activity to promote health behaviors.
iGrow Readers targets a population of Pre-Kindergarten to 2nd grade. A transdisciplinary team approach including faculty and staff at SDSU, more specifically staff in the Health and Nutritional Science Department, Health Promotion, Physical Education, Early Childhood Education, and Extension helped in the development of the curriculum.
The iGrow Readers curriculum was implemented at Peace Lutheran, in Brookings, SD for 5 Wednesdays at 2pm starting on October 25 and ending November 29. The lesson provided to the students at Peace Lutheran were approximately one hour each week. The program involved 20 Pre-Kindergartners. This partnership between Peace Lutheran and SDSU’s Transdisciplinary Obesity Prevention (TOP) Program was successful due to the logistical contributions of Kaylee Karsky, SDSU Nutrition and Dietetic Intern.
As a group we creatively implemented the curriculum by using the children’s books, nutrition lessons and physical activity with the resources we had available to us. The books were provided by SDSU within the TOPS resources for the TOP class. Each of the nutrition lessons were adjusted and tailored to the group we were working with including fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. For the physical activity portion of the lesson our group was very limited on supplies and resources therefore made necessary accommodations to fit the facility we were working within. iGrow Readers curriculum was used as a guide and modifications were made to make the lessons more age appropriate.
Outcomes for the curriculum included:
- Increased exposure to fruits and vegetables
- Increased knowledge of healthy snack options
- Increased physical activity time
iGrow Readers website: https://igrow.org/healthy-families/health-and-wellness/igrow-readers/
TOP Program Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SDSUTOPs