Through a collaboration between the Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs and the HPRC, the Out of School Nutrition and Physical Activity (OSNAP) intervention has helped create healthier afterschool, early learning, and camp environments in programs across Massachusetts. A train-the-trainer approach, which honed the expertise of nine YMCA trainers, was used to reach 23 sites that served more than 1575 children during the 2014-2015 school year.
YMCA site staff attended a series of three learning collaborative sessions led by these Y trainers, during which they gained the knowledge and skills to make healthy, sustainable changes to program practices and policies. They created data-driven action plans targeting specific physical activity and nutrition goals, and shared successes and challenges with a network of peers.
HPRC researchers have previously established the effectiveness of the OSNAP intervention in creating behavior change, documenting increases in children’s vigorous physical activity and improvement in the nutritional quality of snacks children consume. After participating in this statewide spread of the intervention, sites met significantly more OSNAP goals focused on key nutrition, physical activity, and screen time practices, with greatest improvements in increasing physical activity and limiting computer and digital device time offered. This project demonstrates a successful community partnership and implementation of the OSNAP intervention in real world settings for the promotion of children’s physical activity and nutrition!