The Culture of Wellness in Preschools (COWP) is a comprehensive and collaborative early childhood obesity program, which aims to promote a “culture of wellness” in preschool settings by increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity levels. This is accomplished by bringing the following to preschool sites throughout Colorado:
- Classroom-based nutrition education
- Preschool physical activity professional development program
- Parent wellness workshop series
- Staff workplace wellness program
- Strategic planning process to make center environment and policy changes that focus on increasing healthy eating and physical activity levels
All program components are evidence-based or promising practices.
From its inception, COWP has reached 15,000 students, parents and teachers, 150 low-income preschools and early childhood education centers, and 11 Colorado counties.
For more information, please visit our website at cowpprogram.com.
Activities and programs are provided in three settings:
Distinctive features of the program include:
- Expanding and coordinating evidence-based or promising nutrition education, physical activity or policy/environmental change interventions.
- Taking a socio-ecological perspective and implementing a multi-level intervention that combines behavioral and environmental components.
- Focusing on sustainability via capacity-building (e.g., implementing the train the trainer model, so that Head Start parents and staff can become Health Promoters/Promotores de Salud).
- A community-academic partnership, whereby the academic partners can bring the latest evidence-based practices to the community and the community partners can bring experiential knowledge about the Head Start culture, policies and procedures, and about the population that Head Start serves.