Preventing Obesity by Design (POD3)
POD3 is based on findings from four years of the Preventing Obesity by Design (POD, 2007-2011) indicating increased OLE-supported physical activity after renovation, the current Shape NC project (2010-present), the DCDEE initiative “Creating a Supportive Network” (2011), and findings by others showing a) young children learn most through hands-on experience, and b) being outdoors is critical to children’s physical development, activity, and healthy nutrition. Thus, the outdoor environment in childcare centers is related to learning in all developmental areas and supports holistic childhood experience centered on healthy living practices.
The goal of POD3 is to convert outdoor design and programming “best practices” into “common practices” for adoption by early childhood educators, providers, regulators, and landscape designers and managers. Experts in policy and childcare regulations work with the NLI team to provide guidance. POD3 focuses on transferring knowledge, building capacity, and extending reach by:
- Developing education modules for adoption by community colleges and higher education institutions to infuse new awareness and understanding about the role of the outdoors in health promotion;
- Organizing regional OLE training institutes and interactive OLE design workshops;
- Creating POD3 “Regional Outdoor Labs” and related regional action networks of trained childcare providers, technical assistance professionals, regulators and assessors, landscape designers/contractors, and parents;
- Disseminating technical assistance and information resources through expansion of the Natural Learning Initiative’s (NLI) Green Desk; and
- Offering seed grants to POD3 Lab sites and incentives for Technical Assistant providers and community college instructors.
POD3 is supported by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.
Community College and University Summit.
Learning to build a teepee at the Mecklenburg county interactive session.
Students share plans for OLE renovation at Inter-institutional Design Charrette.
Participants become trainers at Mecklenburg Interactive Session.
Western Regional Symposium break out session in UNC Asheville Botanical Garden.
- NC State University (8 students and instructor Andy Fox)
- NC A&T (10 students and instructor Anna Reaves)
- Alamance Community College (11 students and instructor Carol Kawula)
Childcare Outdoor Renovation as a Built Environment Health Promotion Strategy
- Landscape Design, Construction, and Management
- Early Childhood Education
- Healthy Eating
- Illustrate the importance of nature play to support health, wellness and stewardship;
- Support relationship building and foster community connections;
- Highlight the role of professionals to child development;
- Enhance professional development processes; and
- Demonstrate advocacy skills related to outdoor learning in the development of children.
- Create transdisciplinary educational opportunities for preventing obesity and counteracting sedentary lifestyles;
- Promote awareness regarding childhood obesity
- Promote outdoor physical activity, play, and gardening in community college and university curriculum; and
- Highlight the importance of designing, managing, and maintaining outdoor learning environments (OLEs) that support intergenerational health, safety, and welfare.