Skip to main content

Family Component

The goal of the Pathways project was to reduce obesity among American Indian children through changes in dietary and physical activity patterns.

The purpose of the family intervention is to (1) introduce and familiarize families with the objectives and health behaviors central to the Pathways intervention; (2) assist families in creating an environment which reinforces and supports healthy behaviors; and (3) provide an interactive forum through which families and Pathways staff can discuss the intervention and the practical implementation of suggested behavior changes.

Overview of Family Fun Night

The purpose of a Pathways "kick-off" Family Fun Night is to introduce Pathways to students and their families and provide an opportunity for them to share an evening of fun and learning. In addition, the Family Fun Night will serve as a mechanism to engage the support of parents/families in their children's health. This is an opportunity to help parents/families get started in improving their own eating and exercise behaviors.

As the name implies, the "kick-off" Family Fun Night occurs at the beginning of the school year, prior to implementation of the curriculum. The "kick-off" Family Fun Night is the first family program to be implemented with the children and their families. The primary objectives of the Fun Night are to encourage participation of 3rd graders and their families in Pathways, increase recognition that healthy dietary and physical activity patterns are important and learned in childhood, learn specific skills to help in changing dietary and physical activity patterns in an enjoyable way.

Overview of Family Events/Workshops

For each intervention grade, a series of evening family events/workshops are described in the procedure manuals. The events are to be implemented in the community by a joint team of staff, community volunteers, teachers and food service workers. The intent of these events/workshops is to work with families to reinforce the health behaviors introduced through the classroom curriculum, physical activity, and food service components of the intervention, and to assist families in implementing these behaviors at home.

The purpose of the Pathways Family events/ workshops is to offer Pathways as a resource for helping families make changes in diet and physical activity patterns. In addition, the Family events/workshops serve as community events providing direct opportunity for Pathways to work in partnership with families.

The primary objectives of the Family events/workshops are to: assist families in gaining specific skills in the areas of food choice, food preparation, and physical activity, increase awareness that both physical activity and dietary patterns are learned in childhood. And work with families to create an environment supportive of healthful eating and regular physical activity.

Overview of the Celebration Event

This ending celebration is the culminating event of the Pathways intervention. The culminating event, scheduled for the end of the academic year, will allow students to demonstrate the knowledge and expertise gained through Pathways and will encourage families to maintain healthy behaviors during the summer.

The primary objectives of the ending Celebration are: Staff will recognize the participation of fourth grade students and their families, teachers, school food service staff, other school staff, and volunteers with Pathways, the participants will eat a school breakfast, lunch, or dinner which demonstrates the lower fat practices of the school food service, the students will demonstrate one or more of their favorite activities they learned this year during their Pathways Class.

Overview of the Family Packs

Family Packs: The family packs consist of take-home materials designed to develop an involved, supportive, and informed home environment. Family Packs accompany classroom curriculum units and consist of two types: Snack Packs and Action Packs. Snack Packs are small packages of low-fat foods and tips given to the students to share with members of their household. Action Packs are envelopes containing worksheets and suggested activities for students and their families to complete together. Each Family Pack also contains a copy of the story from the accompanying curriculum unit for the family to read together. After the completion of each Family Pack activity, the student and an adult family or household member each signs a Return Card, checking the activities they accomplished.

Download Family Packs

Third Grade Family Procedures Manual

  • Family Fun Night "Kick Off" (Describes 10 Booths)
  • Workshop I "Integrating Physical Activity into Everyday Life"
  • Workshop II "Low-Fat Cooking; Low-Fat Snack Preparation"
  • Ending Celebration

Download the 3rd Grade Family Procedures Manual [PDF] (6.2mb)

Fourth Grade Family Procedures Manual

  • Family Fun Night (Describes 11 Booths)
  • Family Event "PA class"
  • Ending Celebration Event "The Great Race"

Download the 4th Grade Family Procedures Manual [PDF] (8.6mb)

Fifth Grade Family Procedures Manual

  • Family Fun Night (Describes 12 Booths)
  • Ending Celebration "Show and tell" group projects

Download the 5th Grade Family Procedures Manual [PDF] (5.7mb)