Master's Culminating Experience
The Global Health concentration of the Master of Public Health highly encourages its students to participate in efforts which promote health and prevent disease either for a cultural group abroad or with a local disparate group (e.g. first-generation immigrants, established minority groups). The current research aimed to develop a similar model of community engagement and health promotion within an urban setting as witnessed in a developing country.
During an internship with Israel’s Ministry of Health, I witnessed a successful community garden and environmental education program designed for children whom reside in an Arab village. Much like the Israeli Arab community abroad, Black Americans are the minority whom suffer similar health consequences due to food insecurity (e.g. food deserts), high energy-dense food options (including an abundance of fast food restaurants and small convenience stores) and poor health literacy. The goal of the current research was to develop a community garden and environmental literacy program for an urban, minority-concentrated school population within Dayton, Ohio similar to the in Baqa El-Gharbiya, Israel. A pilot study was administered during July 2016 which applied lesson plans from an eight-week curriculum. The pilot study was administered at a local foodbank with a pre-existing urban garden and the participants lived in urban, low income areas. Results demonstrated that the participants have poor eating habits and low literacy scores but the program enhanced learning and understanding of the world around them.
Hunter, T. (2016). From Their Home to Ours: Establishing Environmental and Health Literacy via Urban Gardening for At-Risk Youth Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.
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