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Free Afterschool Program for At-Risk African American Children: Findings and Lessons

Wofford, Linda DNP; Froeber, Deanna MDiv; Clinton, Barbara MSW; Ruchman, Eileen BA

doi: 10.1097/FCH.0b013e31829d2497
Original Articles

A promising afterschool intervention to increase health knowledge and influence choices to reduce risks related to type II diabetes in school-aged, low-income, African American youth is described. Researchers used a community-based program called CASTLES (Communities and Students Together for Learning Enhanced Service). Repeated measures were used to test the effect of the afterschool program on exercise and nutrition. Forty-six children participated in this free program. Significant results demonstrated decreased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and screen time and increased exercise and health knowledge. Communities interested in influencing behaviors related to childhood obesity should develop strong community-based programs, such as the CASTLES model, incorporating nutrition information and structured physical activity.

School of Nursing, Belmont University (Dr Wofford); CASTLES Program, Vanderbilt Center for Community Health Solutions, Vanderbilt University (Ms Froeber); Vanderbilt Center for Community Health Solutions, Vanderbilt University (Ms Clinton); and Project Diabetes Grant, Vanderbilt University (Ms Ruchman), Nashville, Tennessee.

Correspondence: Linda Wofford, DNP, School of Nursing, Belmont University, 1900 Belmont Blvd, Nashville, TN 37212 (

This project was funded by the state of Tennessee. The authors thank Leah Scholma, Julie Warner, Tracye Henderson, Kristal Brown, Sandy Smith, and Federal Work Study students, Ashton Hill, Cleta Page-Cain, Taylor Butler, Mary Heard, and Nikki Kaas.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins