Carnegie Mellon Design Professor Partners With Communities
To Continue Health Education Awareness Project
PITTSBURGH—Kristin Hughes, associate professor in Carnegie Mellon University's School of Design, is partnering with local family support centers to launch phase two of Fitwits, an obesity-prevention program that delivers healthy lifestyle messages, tools and services to children and families. A two-year, $300,000 grant from The Heinz Endowments will fund the development of "Fitwits Zones" in East Liberty and McKeesport community centers.
The Zones are activity centers that integrate and expand the Fitwits services developed during phase one for schools and family health clinics. The Zones are designed to train parents to become agents of change for healthier lifestyle behaviors. They also are intended to serve as the headquarters for a community network of families, schools and health providers interested in healthy living. Zones will be managed and maintained by Fitwits champions — parents and/or guardians — dedicated to teaching others in the community about Fitwits. Parent champions, with the initial guidance of the Fitwits team and resident physicians, will design nine self-directed, parent-engagement events over a three-month period.
The events will cover topics that include healthy learning environments, nutrition, physical education, health and wellness education, health services, family and community involvement, health promotion and counseling, and social services. Parents will be given information and resources to participate in their children's health, whether through creating a family recipe book, healthy coupon challenges or providing a lesson in table manners. For more information, visit www.fitwits.org.