2007 Seed Grants

2007 Seed Grants

Give Me Five: A Community Approach to Childhood Wellness

Give Me Five LogoGive Me Five is a multipronged approach to prevent childhood obesity through education, nutrition, and physical activity. The program was delivered to 49 first grade classrooms from September, 2007 through November, 2008.  This consisted of an initial classroom visit utilizing the Star Lab Cell unit with a new lesson developed on “The Journey” describing the travels of an apple through the body.  Three follow up presentations focused on nutrition and physical activities.  Students were engaged in the program following and between classroom visits through use of the coloring books, the classroom poster, monitoring physical activity and nutrition choices progress, healthy choice challenge activities, and teacher led activities.

Ten Family Fun Nights were held, with a total of 678 family members who participated in the fun, educational activities, received information, and became aware of physical activity ideas. Fun Nights were based in school and community settings and were staffed by 4-H volunteers and college students. 13 classrooms participated in the Farm Discovery Day educational program. Products developed included a coloring book for students; a teacher resource packet; parent information letter; lesson plans for “The Journey;” physical and nutrition follow up activity; and an alignment of standards with the Give Me Five curriculum for first and second grades.

Give Me Five strengthened the communication and cooperation between multiple community agencies, OSU Extension, and OSU Lima. The collaboration of agencies brought together to work on Give Me Five has become an on-going community collaborative entitled the “Give Me Five Coalition.”  OSU Lima students participated in service-learning projects by working on the teacher resource packet and the student coloring book.  Two Ohio Northern University dietary students assisted with the nutrition activities during the Family Fun Nights. The Give Me Five Coalition plans to continue delivering the educational program.  They have a goal of reaching 120 first and third grade classrooms and will hold six Family Fun Nights throughout this upcoming academic year. The development of a CD for teachers will be outsourced and then be a sustainable resource for the future.

This grant was submitted by Lynn Sametz, Director, Education Outreach, OSU Lima; Nancy Recker, Associate Professor, OSU Extension; Mark Light, Extension Educator, OSU Extension; Niki Nestor McNeely, Assistant Professor, OSU Extension; Dawn Wingate, Program Coordinator, OSU Lima; Sara Newman, Research Aide, OSU Lima


Choice Food Pantry Development: Enhancing Nutrition Education

Choice Food PantryA choice pantry is organized like a grocery store where clients walk through the aisles, along with volunteer shopping assistants, and choose food based on need or preference. The Rainbow of Colors Choice Pantry System distributes commodities according to “Mypyramid” food groups and thus integrates nutrition education with the process of client choice. Through OSU CARES funding, two key elements of the system, a nutrition education video and a volunteer training have now been developed. The nutrition education video was designed in English and Spanish using social marketing principles. The purpose of the video is to promote key nutrition messages and also serve as an orientation to the Rainbow of Colors system. The video can be played continuously in waiting areas or to all new clients. In addition to the video, a volunteer training on diversity has been developed and implemented in eight choice food pantries in Butler County (88 volunteers have been trained). After the training, volunteers felt more comfortable interacting with clients from different cultures. Related Publication: www.joe.org/joe/2006december/iw5.php

This grant was submitted by Dan Remley, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Sciences Community Development, OSU Extension, Butler County; Hugo Melgar-Quinonez, Assistant Professor, Human Nutrition, College of Education and Human Ecology; Maria Carmen Lambea, Program Director, OSU Extension; Ana Claudia Zubieta, Program Director, OSU Extension; Chris Taylor, Assistant Professor, School of Allied Medical Professions; Julie Dalzell, Assistant Professor, OSU Extension, Butler County; Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio; F.E.E.D. (Feed, Educate, Empower, and Distribute)


Workforce Needs Assessment for Ohio's Emerging Biobased Polymer Industries

Workforce Needs TeamAs the polymer industry transitions from petrochemicals to biobased materials, new skill sets will be required. With the support of this seed grant, agricultural, chemical and polymer industry leaders and OSU faculty articulated the required duties and tasks future leaders will need to master if Ohio is to gain prominence in the biopolymer industry. Steering committee members have also provided guidance to help inspire young people to choose bioproducts as a future area of study. The Ohio Soybean Council has embraced workforce development and is now offering scholarships research grants and other educational support to attract young people to this field of study. In addition, steering committee members were successful in obtaining $6 million in research and outreach grants that involve many OSU students. See bioproducts.osu.edu.

This grant was submitted by Dennis Hall, Assistant Director, Ohio BioProducts Innovation Center; Robert Norton, Senior Research Specialist, Center on Education and Training for Employment, College of Education and Human Ecology; Peng George Wang, Professor, College of Biological Sciences/College of Mathematical and Physical Sciences; Ann Christy, Associate Professor, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Jose Castro, Professor, College of Engineering; Ken Martin, Assistant Director, OSU Extension; David Boulay, Senior Research Associate, OARDC Piketon; Carol Warkentein, Ohio Soybean Council; Allen Zimmerman, Professor, Agricultural Technical Institute; Rich Markham, PolymerOhio


Central Business Districts: The Measure of Success

Ohio DowntownCommunities throughout Ohio (and nationwide) are struggling to maintain a vital economic mix in their central business districts. Recognizing that business clusters can be a key ingredient to local economic development, many communities would like to achieve the right mix of downtown businesses that can attract people and create a vibrant center; such a center can become a focal point for a community’s progress toward sustainable development. However, identifying the right mix for a particular community is elusive. A variety of applied community economics research has been conducted by personnel from Extension, AED Economics, and others at OSU to help local communities better understand their central business districts. However, these efforts tend to focus on individual communities in isolation and thus do not provide communities with a needed perspective of a much broader context. Meaningful economic revitalization of such central business districts requires comprehensive action strategies informed by local applied research, which this grant has facilitated.

The grant team has established a baseline from which to measure success of community economic development efforts via use of primary and secondary data on the economic, demographic and geographic characteristics of small and medium-sized incorporated places located within Ohio and surrounding states. They have investigated the community-level variables and processes that are correlated with central business district economic success and provided local community leaders with a better understanding of their central business districts. The grant team also engaged local leaders in Van Wert, Ohio in an applied research project that enabled the development and/or assessment of comprehensive action strategies designed to strengthen their CBD retail and service mix. This project was used to develop an outreach program to be piloted with communities in fall 2008, and fully released in 2009. The team has fostered improved working relationships among faculty from CEHE, Knowlton School of Architecture, Extension, and AED Economics. Plans for scholarly outputs have been discussed with project team members in a variety of venues appropriate to their academic affiliation. The research findings and resulting outreach program were presented to county commissioners in Ohio (OSU Extension’s Commissioner Days), and Extension professionals nationwide (2008 Galaxy Conference) with other presentations planned for the future. See comdev.osu.edu/programs/economic-development.

This grant was submitted by Greg Davis, Extension Specialist, OSU Extension; Nancy Bowen-Ellzey, Extension Educator, OSU Extension; Jill Clark, Systems Developer/Engineer, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Maria Manta Conroy, Assistant Professor, Knowlton School of Architecture; Elena Irwin, Associate Professor, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Leslie Stoel, Associate Professor, College of Education and Human Ecology


A County Model for College Access

College GraduatesThe OSU CARES Grant to the Economic Access Initiative has developed a workable rural county model in Hardin County for increased college access among students otherwise not likely to attend college. The model targets high school sophomores who make visits to middle school students’ classrooms to share the “Know How 2 Go” message. Nearly 350 late elementary to middle school students were reached by 36 high school students in the pilot year (2008-2009). Assessment will include following the students through their middle school class choices to high school class choices and college enrollment.

In preparing the presentations for the younger students, these sophomores became keenly aware of how their current school subject and activity choices are directly impacting their future college-going plans. Comments from students included “I now understand how important it is to prepare early and think about financial aid.” “I know I don’t have a clue and need to get my act together now.” As these sophomores go to college in 2 years, the impact of this project will emerge even sooner than in the target middle school group.

The program draws on expertise within the College of Education and Human Ecology, Economic Access Initiative, Hardin County Extension, the OSU Extension Center in Wooster, the Ohio College Assistance Network, and Know How to Go, the national public service campaign targeted to low income students. Community outcomes to date include additional interest in access issues among community leaders and dissemination of materials to assist in conveying messages about going to school/training after high school graduation.

This grant was submitted by Tally Hart, Senior Advisor, Economic Access Initiative, Office of Academic Affairs; Bill Grunkemeyer, Assistant Professor, OSU Extension; Kenneth Lafontaine, Assistant Professor, OSU Extension; Barbara Ludwig, Associate Dean, College of Education and Human Ecology