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BCTR Talks at Twelve: Amanda Purington, Yoon Hyung Choi, Dominic DiFranzo, Thursday, December 13, 2018

 
portrait of Amanda Purington

Social Media TestDrive: Digital Literacy Education for Youth
Amanda Purington, Yoon Hyung Choi, Dominic DiFranzo - Cornell University

Thursday, December 13, 2018
12:00-1:00 PM
ILR Conference Center, Room 423



(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Amanda Purington    children    education    social media    youth   

Time in nature to improve kids’ health


Adapted from an article by David Nutt for the Cornell Chronicle

The Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future’s Academic Venture Fund (AVF) supports collaborations that cut across disciplines to address today’s greatest sustainability challenges. In 2018, the fund awarded $1.5 million to a range of projects that will provide sustainable solutions around the world, from the Finger Lakes to the Pamir Mountains in Central Asia.

Among the 12 projects are efforts aimed at transforming nutrient-rich poultry waste into economically viable fertilizers; developing in-situ conservation strategies for African rice; boosting nature-based engagement for elementary schools in low-income communities; and connecting rural and urban areas across New York state through a public “Internet of Things” infrastructure.

portrait of Janis Whitlock

Janis Whitlock

Included in the 2018 funded projects is Opening the Door to Nature-Based Engagement, on which the BCTR's Janis Whitlock is a co-investigator.

Young people today show greater rates of stress and anxiety, a trend that coincides with a growing recognition of the threats to the natural environment. Employing a One Health approach, researchers will examine how curricular programing that provides students more time in nature can lead to healthier populations and environments. The project will specifically focus on elementary schools serving low-income communities in urban and rural areas, and will identify curricular best practices and generate data to inform programs and state policy for long-term social and environmental impact. The project also received a Engaged Cornell supplemental grant. Co-sponsored by MPH.

Investigators: Gen Meredith, population medicine and diagnostic sciences; Don Rakow, horticulture; Nancy Wells, design and environmental analysis; Janis Whitlock, Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research; Monika Safford, Weill Cornell Medicine; Samantha Hillson, Tompkins County Health Department.

Atkinson's Academic Venture Fund awards $1.5M to 12 projects - Cornell Chronicle

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Getting youth to drink water, not sugar


young man drinking a bottle of water with the text "drink water." Text at the bottom "Make the healthy choice. Give your body the water it needs" NY State Department of HealthResearchers from the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research helped inform new public service advertisements created by the New York Department of Health to educate youth about the dangers of sugar-sweetened beverages.

Researchers working on the ACT for Youth project conducted two rounds of focus groups in the summer/fall of 2017 and spring of 2018 to test possible messages that would encourage young minority males to avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.

“The story demonstrates our ability to conduct research with youth across the state in order to help NYSDOH better serve and reach youth, ultimately helping—we hope-- to improve health,” said Karen Schantz, the communications coordinator for ACT For Youth.

A significant number of youth drink sugary beverages regularly. In one study conducted from 2011-2014, more than 60 percent of adolescent boys drank a sugar-sweetened beverage each day. This is alarming considering there is clear evidence that these beverages are associated with obesity, poor dental health and other health problems.

Amanda Purington, the director of evaluation and research for ACT for Youth, managed the focus groups. In them, groups of adolescent boys from western and central New York answered questions about the definition of “sugary” beverages and how much they consumed, and then evaluated sample ads created to encourage youth to avoid sweetened beverages.

“Many of the young people we talked with thought that sports drinks were healthy drinks and if they engaged in an athletic endeavor, they needed to drink them to replace electrolytes,” Purington said. “So, unfortunately, the marketing by the sports drink companies is working! On the whole, the youth were surprised by the amount of sugar in sports drinks because they really thought they were healthy drinks.”

Youth preferred ads with information, such as the amount of sugar in different kinds of sugary drinks. The most well-received ads struck a balance between providing information and delivering that information in a clear, concise – and often visual – way.

“They also liked having alternatives suggested, like ‘quench your thirst with water instead,’” she said. “But they didn’t just want to be told what to do, they wanted to come to their own conclusions.

“They also wisely acknowledged that a media campaign like this might lead to some short-term behavior change, but may not lead to long-term behavior change, especially in communities where sugary beverages are ingrained in the culture.”

The New York State Department of Health’s media campaign is now live.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: ACT for Youth    Amanda Purington    children    focus group    government    health    Karen Schantz    New York    nutrition    research    youth   

Bronfenbrenner Centennial Lecture, Thursday, September 20, 2018

nicholas kristof speaking in front of a crowd in an auditorium View Media

Bronfenbrenner Centennial Lecture

A Path Appears: Promoting the Welfare of Children
October 2, 2017

Nicholas Kristof
The New York Times


A Path Appears: Promoting the Welfare of Children
October 2, 2017

Nicholas Kristof
The New York Times

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: children    Urie Bronfenbrenner   

Doing Translational Research podcast: Maria Fitzpatrick, Thursday, September 20, 2018

portrait of Maria Fitzpatrick View Media

Doing Translational Research podcast: Maria Fitzpatrick

The Well Being of Children and Older Adults
March 6, 2018

Maria Fitzpatrick
Cornell University


The Well Being of Children and Older Adults
March 6, 2018

Maria Fitzpatrick
Cornell University

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: aging    child abuse    children    doing translational research    podcast    policy    retirement   

2017 Bronfenbrenner Lecture, Thursday, September 20, 2018

karen matthews at a microphone View Media

2017 Bronfenbrenner Lecture

Biological Pathways in Childhood Poverty, Health, Well-being, and Behavior
June 15, 2017

Karen Matthews
University of Pittsburgh


Biological Pathways in Childhood Poverty, Health, Well-being, and Behavior
June 15, 2017

Karen Matthews
University of Pittsburgh

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Doing Translational Research podcast: Dana Weiner, Thursday, September 20, 2018

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Doing Translational Research podcast: Dana Weiner

Using Data to Help Children
April 27, 2017

Dana Weiner
Chapin Hall, University of Chicago


Using Data to Help Children
April 27, 2017

Dana Weiner
Chapin Hall, University of Chicago

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: children    doing translational research    podcast    policy    practice    translational research   

Talks at Twelve: Dana Weiner, Thursday, September 20, 2018

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Talks at Twelve: Dana Weiner

Data-Driven Policy Making in Child Welfare
April 20, 2017

Dana Weiner
Chapin Hall, University of Chicago


Data-Driven Policy Making in Child Welfare
April 20, 2017

Dana Weiner
Chapin Hall, University of Chicago

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Eckenrode receives Outstanding Article Award


By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

row of people holding award certificates

Eckenrode (second from right) and other award recipients with their certificates

A nationwide effort to improve the lives of disadvantaged moms and their children through visits from nurses prevents child maltreatment by helping mothers plan future pregnancies and become financially self-sufficient. That’s the conclusion of a recent paper authored by human development professor John Eckenrode, associate director of the BCTR.

Eckenrode and his co-authors – Mary I. Campa, Pamela A. Morris, Charles R. Henderson, Jr.,  Kerry E. Bolger, Harriet Kitzman, and David L. Olds,  – received the Outstanding Article Award for a publication in the Child Maltreatment Journal. They accepted the award at the annual conference of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children last month in New Orleans.

The program is called the Nurse-Family Partnership. It works by having specially-trained nurses regularly visit young, first-time moms-to-be starting in pregnancy and continuing through the child’s second birthday. The nurses provide health checks and counseling about staying healthy during pregnancy and, after birth, also focus on the baby’s health and well-being. Previous studies have found that the program significantly reduces child abuse and neglect. More than 280,000 families have participated in the program over the course of decades.

This awarded study followed 400 mothers and children 15 years after they first participated in the program. Researchers were trying to determine exactly how visits from nurses led to reductions in child abuse and neglect. Their analysis found that the program helped mothers by encouraging them to wait before having more children and helping them to become financially independent.

“It was an honor to receive this award on behalf of the NFR research team,” Eckenrode said. “Our findings suggest that in order to prevent child maltreatment over the long-term, it is important to focus on family planning and assisting young families to become financially self-sufficient.  This is in addition to promoting healthy behaviors, encouraging positive parenting practices, and attending to parents’ mental health needs.”

The article concluded that home-visiting programs can improve the lives of mothers and children by focusing on teaching mothers about planning future pregnancies and encouraging mothers to become economically self-sufficient.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: award    children    health    healthcare    John Eckenrode    Nurse Family Partnership   

4-H and Girls Who Code partner in NY counties

Tags: 4-H,   Alexa Maille,   children,   partnership,   STEM,   technology,  

Reshma Saujani speaking into a microphone at a podium

Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, delivers the 2015 Iscol Family Program for Leadership Development in Public Service Lecture.

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

When Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, delivered the Iscol Lecture at Cornell in 2015, Cooperative Extension Associate Alexa Maille was inspired.

Saujani – an attorney, political activist, and fundraiser – founded Girls Who Code to close the gender gap in technology. The nationwide non-profit organization designs and helps to deliver programs to inspire, equip and educate girls with computing skills. Since its founding in 2012, it has reached more than 90,000 girls in all 50 states.

Among those are a group of about 10 girls in New York’s Clinton County 4-H Program. After listening to Saujani’s talk at Cornell, Maille – a Science Math Engineering and Technology (STEM) specialist with 4-H contacted Saujani to explore partnership opportunities.

“I liked that the program wove together programming and community change,” she said. “I was interested in starting a coding project with 4-H – one with projects that help youth develop skills for life and careers. Partnering with Girls Who Code was an impactful way to do that – to inspire girls to learn and lead.”

Then Maille worked with 4-H educators around the state to explore how the Girls Who Code curriculum  would work for NYS 4-H. As a result, 4-H educators in Clinton and Cortland counties started Girls Who Code clubs.

four girls sitting around a table working on laptops

Girls coding through CCE Clinton County's Girls Who Code program

Ann Chiarenzelli, 4-H STEM Educator in Clinton County and a volunteer with AmeriCorps, jumped at the chance. “I instantly wanted to bring this program to the Clinton County to empower young girls, not only in computer science, however, also to allow them to explore their passions unrestricted by gender or anything else,” she said.

The Clinton County's chapter of Girls Who Code is a partnership between 4-H, Pathways in Technology Early College, Plattsburgh Public Library and the State University of New York Plattsburgh's Computer Science Department. A total of 10 girls come to the weekly meetings to learn how the concepts of loops, variables, conditionals and functions that form the basis for all programming languages.

“Our chapter is unique because computer science students from SUNY Plattsburgh volunteer each week as mentors to our participants,” Chiarenzelli said. “The members are currently working on community service projects aimed at raising awareness for animal shelters and rural homelessness by coding, from scratch, websites on each. We are all super excited to see the passion and hard work these girls bring to the computer science world!”

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: 4-H    Alexa Maille    children    partnership    STEM    technology   
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