2006 Excellence in Engagement Grants
Preparing Expert Literacy Volunteers to Serve in Urban Schools ($45,000)
Adrian Rodgers, Assistant Professor, College of Education, OSU Newark Partners: Dennis Sykes, Director of OSU Early Childhood Systems; Todd Rogers, Principal, Second Avenue/Weinland Park Elementary School; Judy Valentine, Columbus Education Association
Faculty in the College of Education and Human Ecology formed community partnerships with the Columbus Education Association of Retired Teachers and classroom teachers to create a sustainable model for training retired teachers to work as expert literacy volunteers in schools. Expert Literacy Volunteers in Schools (ELVIS) teach small groups of students in kindergarten through second grade who are performing at the middle range of reading and writing abilities, freeing classroom teachers to work with students experiencing the most difficulty. ELVIS capitalizes on community assets through the identification of community expertise, the communication of needs by partners, the articulation of partnership and helpful supports that can be tailored to the needs of participants, and the use of a literacy intervention at a critical time in children’s development.
Phase 1 focused on recruiting volunteers through the Columbus Education Association-Retired Teachers, resulting in 12 high-quality volunteers who attended the first orientation session. Phase 2 turned to development of curriculum in consultation with partners at Weinland Park Elementary, so that the volunteer effort would complement instructional approaches. Eight training sessions for volunteers, which included school visits and practice teaching, were held. In phase 3, volunteers began to work in schools with the support of faculty and clinicians. Nine of the 12 volunteers remained with the program and one shifted to tutoring older students outside of the ELVIS project. Phase 4, during summer 2007, involved recruitment of an additional cadre of volunteers and revision of the training program. Initial volunteers will help train new cadre.
ELVIS was evaluated by comparing a pre and post project Reading Recovery levels for the children and surveying ELVIS volunteers and classroom teachers. Reading level increases from October to June were as follows: kindergarten—from level A (emerging reader) to levels 2-4; first grade—from levels 2-4 to 10-18; and second grade—from levels 4-5 to 16-28. Teachers reported that ELVIS volunteers improved students’ reading levels and boosted vocabulary development. Volunteers made suggestions for coping with children’s behavior and improving the synchronization with classroom teaching. Volunteer tutors were pleased with the shared reading/interaction strategies used. Their suggested improvements also involved child behavior and working more closely with teachers. Through careful attention in early phases of implementation and a modest initial investment, ELVIS is making a significant difference in the lives of children and retired teachers. Administrators in other states have expressed interest in adopting the ELVIS model in their school and relationships with philanthropic organizations and publishers who could contribute essential infrastructure are under development.
A Pharmacy/Extension Partnership to Improve the Health of Ohioans ($43,000)
Jennifer L. Rodis, Assistant Professor, College of Pharmacy Partners: Kenneth E. Martin, Community Development, Ohio State University Extension; Barbara Ludwig, Department Chair Extension, Interim Associate Dean, Human Ecology, Engagement in Extension; Gerald L. Cable, Director, Professional Experience Programs, College of Pharmacy; Doris Herringshaw, Wood County Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension; Shari Gallup, Licking County Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension
The Partner for Promotion program leverages efforts of three university-based partners (OSU COP, OSUE Community Development, and the OSUE Family and Consumer Sciences) with those of Doctor of Pharmacy students enrolled in advanced practice community pharmacy courses, county Extension educators, and community pharmacists (i.e., adjunct clinical faculty) in effective community-based health education. A model for partnering to improve health outcomes for community residents that was piloted through an OSU CARES faculty support grant was implemented in rural and urban communities. Pharm.D. students worked with Extension educators and community pharmacists to conduct community health needs assessments that will be used to develop appropriate patient education materials and programming. To improve health care access, strategies for offering and conducting patient health screening and referral services will be developed. The identified gaps in health education resources will be filled through the development and use of educational materials that enhance health literacy, preventative health, and healthy behaviors in health education interventions.
- 28 pharmacies have developed and more than half continue to provide innovative patient care services, conducting over 1,400 patient visits.
- Community pharmacists worked with all partners to receive training and assistance in developing sustainable patient care programs.
- Collaboration between eight pharmacies and OSUE in five Ohio counties produced targeted services such as grocery store tours at three sites featuring healthy food choices and nutrition labeling.
- Participating pharmacy students and pharmacists learned how to plan and market health education programs and identify key community contacts.
- 19 of 28 pharmacies were first-time advanced pharmacy practice experiential sites, thus, expanding the number of high-quality experiential sites for pharmacy students.
- Surveys of students and pharmacists indicated a 53% increase, in students’ perception they had the knowledge and skills to implement innovative pharmacy services.
- Students reported up to 70% and preceptors up to 30% increase in their confidence to employ specific skills needed in patient care service development, leading to improved access to community-based health care.
Model Preschool Vision Screening Program ($62,000)
Paulette P. Schmidt, Professor of Optometry and Vision Science, College of Optometry Partners: Betty Head, Project Coordinator, College of Optometry; Barbara Ludwig, Department Chair Extension, Interim Associate Dean, Human Ecology, Engagement in Extension, Family and Consumer Science and 4-H Youth Development Programs
Based on award-winning research from the VIP Study, this project developed a community-based model preschool vision screening program for widespread implementation through collaboration among the College of Optometry, the College of Human Ecology, and OSU Extension. Components included educating parents, teachers, healthcare professionals about the significance of vision disorders among preschool-aged children and their negative impact; training lay screeners to implement preschool vision screening programs; creating self-sustaining models for public education, preschool vision screening programs, and screener training programs; increasing the number of preschoolers who have their vision screened; and creating a model preschool vision screening program for use in Ohio, other states, and national organizations.
The VIP Study, a nationwide multidisciplinary study centered at Ohio State, showed that the three best performing screening tests for use with 3- to 5-year-old children were similarly effective when administered by trained lay screeners or trained health care professionals. Based on this finding, a pilot program was conducted:
- In three Ohio counties (Henry, Shelby, Summit), optometry students and faculty trained and certified high school 4-H members to screen children at childcare centers and community events. In Shelby County, six 4-H teens and the FCS Educator were trained and certified on three vision screening instruments, conducted four screenings, and screened 127 preschoolers 3 to 5 years old to detect three significant eye problems (amblyopia, strabismus, and refractive error), which if caught early are preventable. In Summit County, a team of 4-H members was trained to conduct accurate screenings at Akron-area YMCA preschool sites. In Henry County, 57 preschoolers were screened by one of nine certified 4-H screeners.
- One screening instrument was retained in each county to establish a self-sustaining community-based program.
- FCS educators are informing parents, teachers, and health care professionals in all counties about preschool vision problems.
Additional external funding allowed the expansion of the University/Community Model Preschool Vision Screening to seven new counties in 2009. Phase 1 participants, Nancy Stehulak, Henry County; Pam Leong, Shelby County; and Jackie Krieger, Summit County; were trained as Certified Preschool Vision Screening Trainers by College of Optometry staff and they will train an additional seven county educators, adult volunteers and 4-H teens on how to implement the model vision screening program in the following counties: Cuyahoga, Darke, Hancock, Logan, Mercer, Portage, and Trumbull.